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Science Says Half Of Your Friends Don’t Actually Count You As A Mate. Depressing Or What?

Science Says Half Of Your Friends Don’t Actually Count You As A Mate. Depressing Or What?

In the era of #squadgoals, having a full crew of buddies to flaunt on Facebook and Instagram is vital. 

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But a study has shown that the number of real friends you have could actually be a lot less than you think. In fact, research suggests that half the people you would consider a friend would not count you as a friend back. Pretty brutal, huh?

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In the study – which was published in PLos One – psychologists asked 84 college students in one class to rate every other person on a scale from one to five, with one meaning ‘I don’t know this person’ and five meaning ‘one of my best friends.’ If a student classed another as a three or higher, the researchers counted this as the student seeing this other person a friend. The students were then asked to also estimate what they thought the other person would rate them.

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94% of students ranked their number and what they thought the other person would put equally, meaning the majority of the group assumed their friendships were mutual. However, only 53% of the friendships were actually reciprocated, so in 47% of cases one person in a partnership considered the other a friend, while the other person didn’t class them as a friend back. Awkward…

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To check their results were accurate, the researchers looked at previous surveys on friendship, and found similar answers. In fact, their 53% result of returned equal friendship was actually the highest, with the lowest survey results they came across from other studies at 34%. Depressing or what?


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So, in laymens terms, what does mean? Well, half the people you consider to be your mates probably don’t feel the same way back. Sorry everybody for this self-esteem crushing news.

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