FORA Culture

Season 2010 Episode 0218

Robin Dunbar: How Many Friends Does One Person Need?

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Robin Dunbar: How Many Friends Does One Person Need?
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We are the product of our evolutionary history, and that history colors our experience of everyday life -- from the number of friends we have to how religious we are. Renowned evolutionary anthropologist Professor Robin Dunbar visits the RSA to explain how the very distant past underpins all of our current behaviors, and how we can best utilize that knowledge.Did you know that you have just 150 friends, acquaintances and relatives? And that this is a natural size for villages all over the world? Now known as "Dunbar's Number," it defines the feasible boundaries of our social lives. Dunbar's investigations show us that we inherited the social side of our brains from our mother, and the emotional side from our father; why many women see the world in four or even five different colors, but men only ever have the conventional red, green and blue; and why facial symmetry has everything to do with voter choices in elections.moreless
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