People the world over, from high tech executives to hunter-gatherers, have very similar social networks, according to new research that reveals the importance of maintaining bonds with family, as well as three to five close friends.
The results, published in the journal Nature Human Behavior, were drawn by studying the Philippines-based Agta and Congo-dwelling BaYaka hunter-gatherers. Lead author Andrea Migliano, an evolutionary anthropologist at University College London, explained that she and her team chose to focus on hunter-gatherers because they represent the closest examples of human lifestyles and social organizations from the past.
"They have been little influenced by technology, they have very old traditions, but the most important thing for us is that they have to deal in their day-to-day life with problems that are similar to the ones our ancestor hunter-gatherers had to cope with, such as unpredictable resources," Migliano told Seeker.
"So they have developed specific social adaptations that are central to this kind of lifestyle: they are mobile, highly cooperative - as they do not store food and resources are unpredictable they need to share everything - highly egalitarian, and all is equally shared."