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Be Your Best Friend If You'll Be Mine: Alliance Hypothesis For Human Friendship

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posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 01:51 PM
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www.sciencedaily.com...


University of Pennsylvania psychologists studying the cognitive mechanisms behind human friendship have determined that how you rank your best friends is closely related to how you think your friends rank you. The results are consistent with a new theory called the Alliance Hypothesis for Human Friendship, distinct from traditional explanations for human friendship that focused on wealth, popularity or similarity.



"Friendships are about alliances," Kurzban, an associate professor, said. "We live in a world where conflict can arise and allies must be in position beforehand. This new hypothesis takes into account how we value those alliances. In a way, one of the main predictors of friendship is the value of the alliance. The value of an ally, or friend, drops with every additional alliance they must make, so the best alliance is one in which your ally ranks you above everyone else as well."



More darkly, the new model also serves as an explanation for some petty human behaviors not explained by traditional friendship theories. For example, the Alliance Hypothesis explains why people are extremely concerned with comparisons to others in their social circle. It also explains how jealousies and aggression can erupt among groups of friends as alliances are shifted and maintained.

If the Alliance Hypothesis for Human Friendship is correct, then theories about alliances from game theory and international relations might help us better understand friendship. These theories suggest that people in conflict would benefit strategically from ranking their friends, hiding their friend-rankings and ranking friends according to their own position in partners' rankings. To employ these tactics in their friendships, people need to gather and store information about their friends' other friendships. That is, they have to readily understand the social world not only from their own perspective but also from the perspectives of their friends.


It only makes sense that people would forge friendship's based on similar likes and dislikes.

Loyalty.

How far will you stick your neck out for a friend, even on a forum,

This is something I wonder about human nature how many people will keep silent even on a forum out of fear of losing face with the

" rest," even if they agree with the post.




posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 01:54 PM
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Then there is this,,

www.sciencedaily.com...


Adam Powell, AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity, says: "Our paper proposes a new model for why modern human behaviour started at different times in different regions of the world, why it disappeared in some places before coming back, and why in all cases it occurred more than 100,000 years after modern humans first appeared.

"By modern human behaviour, we mean a radical jump in technological and cultural complexity, which makes our species unique. This includes symbolic behavior, such as abstract and realistic art, and body decoration using threaded shell beads, ochre or tattoo kits; musical instruments; bone, antler and ivory artefacts; stone blades; and more sophisticated hunting and trapping technology, like bows, boomerangs and nets.

Professor Stephen Shennan, UCL Institute of Archaeology, says: "Modern humans have been around for at least 160,000 to 200,000 years but there is no archaeological evidence of any technology beyond basic stone tools until around 90,000 years ago. In Europe and western Asia this advanced technology and behaviour explodes around 45,000 years ago when humans arrive there, but doesn't appear in eastern and southern Asia and Australia until much later, despite a human presence. In sub-Saharan Africa the situation is more complex. Many of the features of modern human behaviour – including the first abstract art – are found some 90,000 years ago but then seem to disappear around 65,000 years ago, before re-emerging some 40,000 years ago.

"Scientists have offered many suggestions as to why these cultural explosions occurred where and when they did, including new mutations leading to better brains, advances in language, and expansions into new environments that required new technologies to survive. The problem is that none of these explanations can fully account for the appearance of modern human behaviour at different times in different places, or its temporary disappearance in sub-Saharan Africa."


How does this translate onto the internet forum society?



posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 01:58 PM
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and last but not least






posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 02:00 PM
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Wonderful thread, it's great to see some alternative research being done in this field.

I see it makes alot of sense. I'm a big advocate of game theory in general, so this study is like candy
.

It applies to my own social circle even. I have very many acquaintances, but very few friends. I'd say I can count them all on both hands, perhaps a toe.

Anyway, the point is these relationships are ever shifting and changing as others are introduced to mingle with the original 10. And I have had many conversations where we "rank" our friends, but in different ways that simply stating: "He's 1, he's 2, she's 3."

I'm looking foward to reading the whole thing and studying it within my own circle further.

S&F!

~Keeper



posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 02:03 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 





I have very many acquaintances, but very few friends.


Exactly, and thank you for the feedback, I am waiting for more views, to kinda jump start my brain, ;o)



posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 02:21 PM
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reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Nice thread, interesting information that can be applied not only in the real world but this forum, especially in the last few weeks. I have often wondered about the whole human friendship thing, especially on online forums in what constitutes a "friend" over a "acquaintance" or "professional friend". I like to think that on this thread a lot of my friends are more in the "professional acquaintance area", some maybe can be classified into "friends", it is difficult to take a friendship online to the real world level so this is anticipated. In the real world I have many "acquiantences" but only a handful of "friends or best friends". I think everyone is in that level rather they admit it or not. It is near impossible for one person to be a "good friend" of more than 5 people, there is just to many perspectives going on there. But there is nothing wrong with having many acquiantences, it is all part of life and meeting and conversation with people.



posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 02:29 PM
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What makes one loyal to a fault?

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Friends come and friends go ,

Sometimes we outgrow one-another, for many reasons.

What about tolerance and how far can you let that rule a friendship, I find my closet friendship are based on their need for and ear to listen, and someone to be sympathetic and have their back.

But sometimes they are wrong, and I have a hard time with being sympathetic, but I keep silent.
Lately however I find myself being more critical ,and I see the change in them , we are not as close, they don't want critiqued, lol, they want you to agree with them, they get offended.



posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Well in my very limited experience (since I am only 23) I have learned that your best friends are the ones most like you on a core level, and regardless the time or change they will always be there and ready to share life with you.



posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 02:37 PM
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reply to post by jkrog08
 





I have often wondered about the whole human friendship thing, especially on online forums in what constitutes a "friend" over a "acquaintance" or "professional friend". I like to think that on this thread a lot of my friends are more in the "professional acquaintance area", some maybe can be classified into "friends", it is difficult to take a friendship online to the real world level so this is anticipated.


I always thought the Internet hindered the, one on one contact we need for true friendships,

However even in the real world, what ever that is, we can drive a wedge in a friendship because of politics and religion, or morals, or scientific dogma, we are touchy are we not?

Does the Internet help of hinder our ability to make friends off line?



posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by jkrog08
reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


Well in my very limited experience (since I am only 23) I have learned that your best friends are the ones most like you on a core level, and regardless the time or change they will always be there and ready to share life with you.


Yes and we kinda mirror one-another.



posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


I think it helps because the internet is totally non biased of race, color, gender, or beliefs (for the most part). Online it doesn't matter what color you are or if you are male or female, or if you are Spanish or American. The internet forces you to just judge off of personality, which is what it should be about in the real world but sadly is not. Although the internet can have a side effect sometimes of making people less 'adept' in the real life social situations because they have been used to non physical contact, so it can lead to acute Agoraphobia in some cases IMO.

Another thing that is merging the real world with online however is the rapid advancement of cameras and digital photography. Now a lot of sites have it where the majority of members have MANY pictures of themselves and that can lead to bias more so than just the more common avatars you see here IMO.



posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 02:49 PM
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reply to post by jkrog08
 





I think it helps because the internet is totally non biased of race, color, gender, or beliefs (for the most part).


Um yup, that's for sure it used to be color blind.



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