People 'Replace Half Their Friends Every 7 Years'

      June 18, 2009 07:33

      People lose about half their friends and replace them with new ones after about seven years, research suggests.

      Sociologist Gerald Mollenhorst of Utrecht University in the Netherlands interviewed 604 people aged 18 to 65 seven years ago and recently again to ask them the same questions.

      The results showed that the size of personal networks remained the same but many members of the network were new. About 30 percent of discussion partners and practical helpers had the same position in a typical subject's network seven years later, and 48 percent were still part of the network, website LiveScience.com said Tuesday.

      Mollenhorst also established that networks were not formed based on personal choice alone. The survey found that people's choice of friends is limited by the opportunities to meet, and people frequently choose friends from a context where they have previously chosen a friend.

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