Skip to main content

Why friendships are good for you

Friendships are as important to health as they are a major predictor of long life.

Prof Dunbar is the inventor of the Dunbar number which is the number of friendships you can maintain. The actual number is around 150 people. We only have enough “brain capacity” to service this number. There is also the issue of gender and friendship, and we will discuss women to women, men to men and women and male friendships.

You may be surprised at what is discussed. He will discuss the scientific basis for all these issues.

As always, we will answer as many questions as possible during this session.



Robin Dunbar

Professor of Evolutionary Psychology

Robin Dunbar is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Finnish Academy of Science & Letters and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His research interests lie in the evolution of sociality, with particular reference to primates and humans. He is best known for the Social Brain Hypothesis and Dunbar’s Number (the limit on the number of meaningful relationships that we can have at any one time).