Extraverts Have Larger Social Network Layers

Thomas Pollet, Sam Roberts, Robin Dunbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies showed that extraversion influences social network size. However, it is unclear how extraversion affects the size of different layers of the network, and how extraversion relates to the emotional intensity of social relationships. We examined the relationships between extraversion, network size, and emotional closeness for 117 individuals. The results demonstrated that extraverts had larger networks at every layer (support clique, sympathy group, outer layer). The results were robust and were not attributable to potential confounds such as sex, though they were modest in size (raw correlations between extraversion and size of network layer, .20 <r <.23). However, extraverts were not emotionally closer to individuals in their network, even after controlling for network size. These results highlight the importance of considering not just social network size in relation to personality, but also the quality of relationships with network members.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-169
JournalJournal of Individual Differences
Issue number3
Early online date28 Jun 2011
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jun 2011


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