A new study conducted by researchers at MIT concluded that half the people we know and think are our friends actually don’t reciprocate.
Before you get too disappointed keep in mind that the study was done with a small group of 84 participants, who are undergraduate students.
The students were asked to rate one another on a scale of 0-5. 0 indicates a stranger while 5 indicates best friends. Researchers decided that a score of 3 was a nice middle point of true friendship indication.
After they completed this task they were also asked to predict how others in the class had scored them.
The results highlighted an inability to perceive friendship reciprocity with a staggering number of 50% of the people who were thought of as friends for each participant actually aren’t.
So what’s the deal?
Researchers say it is possible that admitting to a friendship that is not reciprocal can challenge the self image of the individual and have them questioning what they lack.
There’s also some thought into how friendships are formed which turned out many factors including socio-economic status, gender differences, and ethnic/racial origins.
It is thought that individuals scored one another based on what they aspire to be with that person and the behaviors or actions they’ve taken in order to achieve that friendship goal as opposed to what the friendship actually is.
Not to worry though, the study also indicated that we are getting at least a little bit better at deciphering who is true blue and who isn’t with previous studies at MIT showing that only 34% of people who you think are your friends actually are.
If you’ve ever heard your parents utter the words “if you can have one or two good friends, you’ll be lucky” and rolled your eyes, you might now think that they were certainly on to something.
Nova Johnstone is a Ballet Dancer, Choreographer, Freelance Writer and Mentor to many young students. Based in Ireland she is the owner of Destination Dance Ireland where she helps Pre Professional Students take steps towards a career.
She writes her own opinion based, lifestyle articles from mainly a satirical point of view with the thought “if you can’t make a comedy out of your tragedies, what’s the point?”
She hopes to someday have the opportunity to be a strong public voice for young women to achieve their potential by combining her love of writing, dancing, acting and public speaking.