Ever feel like you’re not as popular as your friends? Or that they are friends with more people than you are? Well, statistically speaking, this is quite natural. This is the case for most people. So you’re not really unpopular—you’re actually the majority!
How Does It Happen?
Let’s illustrate this phenomenon with an example. Consider a closed group of 5 people: Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kendall, and Kylie. Khloe is friends with Kourtney, and Kendall is friends with Kylie. Kim is friends with all the others.
The total number of friends Kim has is 4, but the others each have 2 friends only. The average number of friends Kim's friends have is 2, which is less than Kim’s own number, making her "popular." But the average number of friends Khloe’s friends have is
You can find a more detailed analysis here: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/04/economist-explains-why-friends-more-popular-paradox
Try verifying this with your friends. Pick a group of people on which to run the experiment; it can be all the students in your class or some random people on Facebook. For each person, calculate the average number of friends his or her friends have and compare it to the number of friends that person has. See how many times the former is higher than the latter.
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