Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Despite the way that mobile technologies and social networking sites have made it easier to stay in touch with large numbers of acquaintances, a new study has shown that people still put most of their efforts into communicating with small numbers of close friends or relatives. We often operate unconscious one-in, one-out policies so that communication patterns remain the same even when friendships change.

'Although social communication is now easier than ever, it seems that our capacity for maintaining emotionally close relationships is finite,' said Dr Felix Reed-Tsochas, James Martin Lecturer in Complex Systems at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. 'While this number varies from person to person, what holds true in all cases is that at any point individuals are able to keep up close relationships with only a small number of people, so that new friendships come at the expense of "relegating" existing friends.'

Read more

Similar stories

No limit to the benefits of exercise in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease

General Research

A new study led by the University of Oxford on over 90,000 participants shows that there is no upper threshold to the benefits of exercise in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease – ‘every move counts towards better cardiovascular health.’

Accurate predictions of ovarian cancer outcome possible with new classification system

General Research

The new, Oxford-developed method for subtyping ovarian cancer has been validated in a recent collaboration between the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. Dubbed the ‘Oxford Classic’, researchers have demonstrated that it enables the accurate prediction of patient disease outcome, as well as the development of new targeted cancer therapies.

Accidental awareness in obstetric surgery under general anaesthesia more frequent than expected

General Research

The largest ever study of awareness during obstetric general anaesthesia shows around 1 in 250 women may be affected, and some may experience long-term psychological harm.