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Application of Dunbar's Number in Modern Society

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Dunbar’s Number, and how it applies to modern societies.

For those not familiar with the term, let me share a paragraph from the Wikipedia entry on the subject.

Dunbar explained the principle informally as “the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar.” Dunbar theorised that “this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex size. The limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained”. The number has been proposed to lie between 100 and 250, with a commonly used value of 150.

This number is based on observation of various human group sizes, including those of early hunter-gatherers and early farming villages.

And this number is frequently used today as a rule-of-thumb for constructing groups within larger organizations, including military organizations and commercial organizations.

November 5, 2023