Are there true friends

Study: Why Half of Friends Are Not Friends at All

How many people are real friends? Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tel Aviv University have found: There are far fewer than we think. Almost half of the people we count among our friends do not reciprocate our friendship. At least if you transfer the researchers' data to the general public.

For the study, 84 students from Israel University between the ages of 23 and 38 who were about to graduate in applied management were interviewed. You should rate how you relate to fellow students on a scale from zero to five. Zero stood for “I don't know this person”, three for “friend” and five for “one of my best friends”. In addition, each participant should assess how the other person feels about him. The team published the results in the international online journal of the Public Library of Science, "Plos One".

The students expected those they rated as friends to be mutual, the authors write. The participants assumed this in 94 percent of the cases. But the reality was different: only 53 percent of all friendships were mutual.

One might subconsciously want to avoid being hurt

The number of study participants is relatively small compared to other studies, but according to the researchers, the results are significant and also comparable with others. In real life, that means: Probably half of the people you call friends don't even want to be friends with you.

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