You Can Pick Your (Best) Friends

May 3rd, 2011

David Liben-Nowell

Prof. David Liben-Nowell, Carleton College

David Liben-Nowell, Associate Professor of Carleton College

" You Can Pick Your (Best) Friends" FRIDAY May 6 4:30 King 221

In this talk, he will present some results from a recent collaboration with evolutionary psychologists and computer scientists on questions of how people choose friends and prioritize among those friends.  Specifically, he will describe analysis of large samples of MySpace profiles containing "Top Friends" lists, in which an individual selects a small subset of his or her friends and organizes them into a ranked order of that individual's choice.  Different classes of behavioral hypotheses give rise to very different graph-theoretic structures in the best-friend network, and we can use these ranking data to provide supporting evidence for some of these theories.