six degrees of separation

Home » Modern Medicine » Public Health and Safety » epidemiology » six degrees of separation
six degrees of separation2016-12-27T23:36:41+00:00

six degrees of separation

six degrees of separation image from New Medical Terms

six degrees of separation


Definition A term referring to the observation that any person on Earth is, on average, six steps away from any other person, such that a chain of, “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in no more than 6 steps.

This social and mathematical conundrum was formulated in the mid-1960s, and characterises the interwoven webs of acquaintances among friends, neighbours, colleagues, and relatives. The phrase “six degrees of separation” refers to the interconnectivity of interpersonal networks, and is based on the popular game, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. In that game, the winner finds the shortest route between any given actor and Kevin Bacon, a Hollywood actor, which has been called the Bacon number, based on appearance in a movie with Bacon or with someone who has appeared with someone who has appeared with Bacon, and so on; the average Bacon number is 2.918; the maximum is 10; as the saying goes, we are all connected. The Beatles were right: I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together…goo goo g’joob

Synonyms Human web, six degrees of Kevin Bacon, small world problem 

References Discover June, 2002, p30

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.