Exploring variation in active network size: Constraints and ego characteristics

Sam Roberts, Robin Dunbar, Thomas Pollet, Toon Kuppens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

280 Citations (Scopus)


Studies of active personal networks have primarily focused on providing reliable estimates of the size of the network. In this study, we examine how compositional properties of the network and ego characteristics are related to variation in network size. There was a negative relationship between mean emotional closeness and network size, for both related and unrelated networks. Further, there was a distinct upper bound on total network size. These results suggest that there are constraints both on the absolute number of individuals that ego can maintain in the network, and also on the emotional intensity of the relationships that ego can maintain with those individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-146
JournalSocial Networks
Issue number2
Early online date3 Feb 2009
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


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