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Why we can’t stop going back to the same places?

Same Places

Have you ever noticed that usually when we are meeting our besties, we choose the same places to hang out most of the time? Researchers, who are studying the nature of human behavior, revealed that a groups of friends stick to a small number of certain places.

A specific number of places

Even though there is always something new in town that people are up to trying, in most cases, we end up going to a maximum of 25 already tried and approved places at any given time. 

Basically, when we are extending our geographic circle with a new bar or restaurant, a previous one is taken away from our list. Yes, it is all about the number. The researchers explain this situation as a result of our laziness and curiosity.  

Laura Alessandretti, co-author and Ph.D. researcher at University of London, clarifies that although “our needs and circumstances evolve, their number does not”. Alessandretti adds that when one place makes a strong impression it takes the place of a former locale , it doesn’t bank on what we understand as our favorite locale. 

A real-world experiment 

The Ph.D doctor and her team have studied the most frequently visited locations of 1,000 university students, who were participating in the experiment, including 40,000 people who participated in a longitudinal experiment called the Copenhagen Networks Study. After analyzing two years of their usually chosen locations, researchers made the conclusion that people on average stuck to 25 places. Also, it was discovered that these places “were visited at least twice, and for more than 10 minutes a week on average, within a time frame of 20 weeks”.

L. Alessandretti compares this experiment with that of anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who claims that humans can’t maintain more than 150 relationships. The researcher believes that her observations have a similar background of human cognition. Moreover, both studies revealed the limitations of human nature are consistent across cultures, ages, and genders. This type of research can help to understand people’s mobility and movement tendencies on a larger scale.

This experiment proved that there are universalities of human behavior and movement. 

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