Friendship isn’t always as serendipitous as it might feel. Are you a “tight-knitter”, a “compartmentalizer,” or a “sampler”? According to Dartmouth sociology professor Janice McCabe, whose study of the effects of social connections on academic performance was published this month in the journal Contexts, when forming new friendships, people tend to follow one of these three patterns. McCabe used mathematical models to examine the friendship structures of 67 students on a Midwestern college campus, aiming to figure out how those structures influenced success in the classroom.

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