Festinger, L., Schachter, S., Back, K., The Spatial Ecology of Group
Formation, In L. Festinger, S. Schachter, & K. Back (eds.), Social Pressure
in Informal Groups, 1950. Chapter 4.
Paper on ecological determinants of friendship and group formation.
Study on two housing projects, Westgate and Westgate West, probability of
friendship is inversely proportional to the living distance between people.
People will have passive contacts leading to nodding actuantanceships, speaking
relationships, and finally into friendships.
The authors surveyed the two housing projects, asking which three people
the most associated with in the two projects. Then they normalized the distance
between all the apartments They found that most of the friendships arose
between neighbors, especially looking at one floor. People on different
floors had a similar but less sloping relationship.
Between buildings, the relationship also held true, although the absolute
numbers were much smaller.
Also, those people living near pathways to and from buildings also had a
greater chance of meeting people and thus building friendships. Thus one
must be careful to note physical and functional distances.
It appears the housing projects are for students.