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Friendship is the single most important factor influencing our health, well-being, and happiness. Creating and maintaining friendships is, however, extremely costly, in terms of both the time that has to be invested and the cognitive mechanisms that underpin them. Nonetheless, personal social networks exhibit many constancies, notably in their size and their hierarchical structuring. Understanding the processes that give rise to these patterns and their evolutionary origins requires a multidisciplinary approach that combines social and neuropsychology as well as evolutionary biology.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.tics.2017.10.004

Type

Journal article

Journal

Trends Cogn Sci

Publication Date

01/2018

Volume

22

Pages

32 - 51

Keywords

endorphins, gender differences, happiness, health, social networks