Your friends probably have more friends than you do. Your lovers have had more sex. It's not just you. It's math.

Scott Feld set out to determine Why Your Friends Have More Friends than You Do. His analysis was publised in The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 96, No. 6 (May, 1991), pp. 1464-1477.

In 1961 James Coleman's classic study The Adolescent Society showed that most people have fewer friends than their friends have, but didn't explain why that is always true.

If you are the average individual, your friends will always have more friends than you do.

In fact, the mean number of friends of friends is always greater than the mean number of friends of individuals.

This disproportionate experiencing of friends with many friends is related to a set of abstractly similar class size paradoxes that includes such diverse phenomena as the tendencies for college students to experience the mean class size as larger than it actually is and for people to experience beaches and parks as more crowded than they usually are.

The reason that the average number of friends your friends have is larger than the number of friends you have, is that you are more likely to be friends with someone who has more friends than with someone who has fewer friends.

So the average number of friends, your friends have is dramatically skewed upwards by the friends with lots of friends.

The friend with the most friends is only counted once by each individual, but is responsible for many friendships when adding up the total friendships of the entire group.

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