How your friends really are richer, happier and more popular than you
Researchers have revealed first mathematical proof explaining the reason it might always seem like everyone else is doing better than you, claiming that it's not just our own insecurities and aspirations that make us look longingly at our peers.
Researchers at universities in France and Finland claimed that their discovery is based on the "generalised friendship paradox", the Independent reported.
It was revealed that most people have only a small number of friends, but, a few people have a significantly greater number of pals and it is this second category that distorts how you regard your friendship group as a whole.
Young-Ho Eom at the University of Toulouse and Hang-Hyun Jo at Aalto University in Finland said the paradox can be understood as a sampling bias in which individuals having more friends are more likely to be observed by their friends.
The pair established that positive characteristics within networks, like wealth, apparent success, and even happiness, will on average be experienced more by other people.
They found that these so-called "network characteristics" followed the same mathematical patterns as the network itself.
The duo suggested that while we will naturally be biased towards thinking ourselves "worse" when we compare ourselves to our so-called "better" friends, the same still applies "comparing to the average friend".
(Posted on 16-01-2014)