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Propinquity

Definition

Propinquity refers to the proximity or physical closeness of one person to another. The greater the degree of propinquity, the more likely that two people will be attracted to each other and become friends. Propinquity is usually thought of in terms of functional distance—that is, the likelihood of coming into contact with another person—rather than sheer physical distance.

Background and Modern Usage

Research on the effects of propinquity rests on the common-sense premise that one is unlikely to become friends with someone whom one has never met. Beyond this simple principle, however, is a set of observations and implications with considerable relevance for understanding how people move from initial encounters to the development of friendship. The power of propinquity is illustrated by a well-known finding from the ...

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