Researchers at Harvard University completed a 10-years longitudinal study confirming that friends can have different opinions and remain friends; it just feels a little weird and also kind of sucks.
The study was conducted amongst over 250 pairs of preexisting best buddies, where participants were asked their opinions on film, music, politics, and controversial food pairings.
“In one experiment, we showed pairs of friends famous actors and asked them, do you think this guy is hot?” says lead researcher Dr. Michelle Lea. “75% of the time the friends disagreed and, to be honest, it made us kind of sad and weirded out.”
“We can now predict 70% accuracy that most friends will disagree at least once in the length of their friendship,” Dr. Lea shared about the practical applications of her findings. “The more we research and evidence we collect, the more informed our predictions will be about the types of people who should and should not be friends. We can also use this in schools to make nice normal kids become friends with kids who are weird and off.”
When asked if these findings changed Dr. Lea’s outlook on her own broken friendship, she responded, “Some things are just unforgivable, like thinking that it’s believable for a whole town to keep Hannah Montana’s true identity a secret, or liking Yellowstone.”
Dr. Lea is now working on a new study at Harvard asking the vital question: “How do you repair a friendship with a person who slept with your mom?”