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Why the Internet won't get you any more friends
mardi 23 avril 2013

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Conférence de Robin Dunbar qui s'intéresse aux phénomènes de réseaux sociaux et en particulier, Facebook, en prenant appui sur les résultats de ses recherches concernant les relations sociales. Dans les années 1990, l'anthropologue révèle que  la limite cognitive théorique contraignant le nombre de personnes avec qui l'on peut maintenir des relations sociales stables, s'élève à 148 (le nombre de Dunbar, appelé aussi le nombre magique 150)

The internet and its social networking site derivatives such as Facebook were sold to us on the promise of widening our social horizons. The internet offers us the implicit opportunity to make casual acquaintances with people all around the world, and so widen our social horizons. I shall argue that this promissory note was made without consulting the humans at the centre of it all. In fact, although the internet does solve some problems of social interaction, it does not, and cannot, cut through the glass ceiling that limits the number of relationships we can have, now known as Dunbar’s Number. This limit on the number of friendships we can maintain is a consequence partly of cognitive constraints in the human brain and partly a consequence of time constraints (in a context where relationships require the investment of time spent with the friend). However, we can still ask whether, given these constraints, the digital world might yet allow us to increase the size of our social communities by other means, and I will speculate on some of these (in particular, the role of virtual touch)

Un colloquium du DEC

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Robin Dunbar
Université d'Oxford

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Robin Dunbar est un anthropologue britannique et un biologiste de l'évolution, spécialisé dans le comportement des primates, directeur de l'Institut d'anthropologie cognitive et évolutive de l'Université d'Oxford.

Il est connu pour avoir formulé le nombre de Dunbar, 148, une mesure de la « limite cognitive du nombre de personnes avec lesquelles un individu peut avoir des relations stables. »

Ce nombre est aujourd’hui largement utilisé tant dans les sciences sociales que dans le bâtiment, l’urbanisme ou la constitution d’équipes.

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Dernière mise à jour : 02/09/2016