Friday, February 22, 2013
The Law of Liking
That's why most of our friends come from those clubs, groups, and faith communities where we spend most of our time. For example, as Larry Iannaccone has observed ("Why Strict Churches Are Strong") stricter churches often demand that members attend worship weekly (if not more) and limit their participation in secular groups and activities. As a consequence, members of stricter churches tend to report that a higher percentage of their close friends are members of their church (Stark and Bainbridge, "The Future of Religion").
To be clear, Homans's law of liking does not claim that if you repeatedly interact with someone you will become friends. Almost all of us have interacted repeatedly with people whom we will never like and we only interact with them because we have to. No, all Homans's law claims is that repeated interaction raises the probability that two people will become friends. So what do you need to do to make new friends? Join a new club, play for a new team, attend a new faith community.