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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 47

The Friendship Paradox

On the probability of popularity.
Words by George Upton. Photograph by Ryan Duffin.

Have you ever felt like your friends were more popular than you? Perhaps you’re a little insecure about how many sexual partners you’ve had, or the number of connections you have on LinkedIn. The friendship paradox, a term coined by sociologist Scott L. Feld in 1991, would suggest these fears are not without foundation. It’s down to sampling bias: You are more likely to be friends with someone who has more friends than you, simply because there is a greater


This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Seven

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