Are your friends making you dumber?

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

social group brain
It’s harder to learn new information when you hang out with the same old faces.

We all love to hang out with our old group of buddies, but according to a study from Finland, they make you dumber. It’s not like they lower your IQ or anything, but researchers did find that staying within a small social group limits how much knowledge you have access to.

According to the study’s lead author, Lauri Kovanen, it has to do with how people share information. When we learn a new piece of knowledge, we usually share this information with our friends, who then share it with their buddies. However, if you only hang out with the same people, the information they tell you will probably be the same stuff you told another person in the group.

Kovanen’s study isn’t the first to suggest people should branch out and make more social connections. In 2011, MIT researchers found that hanging out with the same few people is bad for your health, so to speak. Apparently, sticking to the same social circle prevents people from forming new health habits! Hanging out with a greater variety of amigos means increasing the chances to learn new ideas and incorporate helpful ones into your life.

So, if you want to become a smart, healthy, and knowledgeable young person, branch out of your social circle and meet new people.

Featured image courtesy of daily sunny on Flickr. Image of girls courtesy of Sean Molin Photography on Flickr.