Attractive people have more friends - a Facebook study

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The other day my grandson mentioned that he had hit 700 friends on Facebook. I said "that's rather a lot, how do you actually know 700 people?". He replied that most of them are just acquiantaces, like friends of college friends, that he's only met once.

I've previously conducted studies which suggest that taller people are usually more popular, however given what my grandson had said, I wanted to carry out a similar study to see if more attractive people have more friends. Considering my position and experience at the Institute for Human Development you may be surprised at my decision to undertake an experiment on the ostentatious side of our human civilisation, however you may find the results interesting.

The Sample Data

I asked a freelancer to display a list of 200 random Facebook profile pictures which suited two conditions. Firstly, the profile was open to the public and showed the number of friends that user had. Secondly the profile picture had to be a clear image of the specimen's head (no glasses, no hats etc). I then asked 15 volunteers to rate the individuals in the photos on a scale of attractiveness between 1 and 10. I told them that 5 was the baseline for an average looking person and a higher number meant a higher level of attractiveness. The volunteers at no time knew the number of friends the specimen had. Specimens were 50% male and 50% female.

Organizing the results

I rounded up / down the level of attractiveness to the nearest integer and plotted the results on a chart.

Do attractive people have more Facebook friends?

 

Do attractive people have more Facebook friends?

The results are convincing. The chart shows that more attractive people, on average, have more Facebook friends. I went a step further to calculate the nearest possible equation to how attractive you are likely to be based on the number of your Facebook friends.

Attractiveness = 0.9545 x Number of Facebookfriends0.2946.

For example, if you have 500 friends. Then you are likely to be a 6 out of 10. See calculation below.

0.9545  x 500^0.2956 = 6.

Obviously this equation is wide open to a huge number of variables, but the most imporant point here is correlation.

 

Correlation Coefficient

I knew my hard earned qualifications in Math would come in easy. I decided to run some correlation coefficient calculations on the data. The results proved that without doubt, there is a correlation.

Correlation coefficient = 0.65.

Anything considerd above 0.5 signifies a correlation, whilst anything above 0.7 signifies a strong correlation.

Correlation coefficient = 0.65. (a positive correlation)

 

OK people, don't beat me down for carrying out this experiment. It's just a bit of fun, which is interesting to say the least.

 

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Comments

Adam's picture
I have noticed that the jocks at my college usually have well over 1,000 friends on Facebook. Just shows that being good looking increases confidence, which results in more connections.
Seth's picture
I think in a pretty good looking guy but I only have about 250 friends on Facebook

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