Why people make friends: Evidence from 12 nations

Menelaos Apostolou, Mark J.M. Sullman, Jessica D. Ayers, Agata Błachnio, Rajneesh Choubisa, Hesham F. Gadelrab, Tetiana Hill, Shanmukh Kamble, Yanina Lisun, Denisse Manrique-Millones, Rosa Millones-Rivalles, Yohsuke Ohtsubo, Aneta Przepiórka, Burcu Tekeş, Germano Vera Cruz, Yan Wang, Yukino Watanabe, Arya Ghorbani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People make friends for a variety of reasons. The current study aimed to explore these reasons and the role of the Dark Triad in predicting them, using self-report questionnaires in a sample drawn from 12 countries. We found that the most important reasons for making friends were having people around with desirable traits such as compatibility, who could provide support and be relied upon in times of need, and with whom one could frequently socialize. Less important reasons included achieving self-serving goals such as career advancement and securing an intimate partner. We found small effects of age, sex, and relationship status. Furthermore, higher scores in Machiavellianism and Narcissism were associated with a greater emphasis on all reasons, particularly on achieving self-serving goals. Conversely, higher Psychopathy scores were associated with a lower importance placed on all reasons except mating, where they were associated with higher importance.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112774
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Early online date26 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Jun 2024


  • Friendship
  • Reasons for making friends
  • Evolution of friendship
  • Dark triad


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