Monday, December 13, 2010


A question, about which I have been cogitating for a while, but which came up in conversation this weekend:

What is the minimum number of people required for one to be able to 'mingle'?

This can be taken further:

  1. What is the definition of mingling?
  2. What is the minimum number required for mingling to be (a) possible, and (b) guaranteed.
  3. How does (a) the physical position (e.g. walking, sitting, standing), (b) the location (e.g. indoors or outdoors, amount of space) and (c) the context (e.g. party, meal, chilled gathering) affect the answers to question 2?
  4. Is there a formula to predict the likelihood of spontaneous mingling being (a) possible and (b) guaranteed in any given group situation.
  5. Should I do a PhD in this?
Answers on a postcard.  Or just in a comment.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

After further conversation, my latest thoughts are:
A 'mingle' is the occurence of a single person moving from one conversation to another. For 'mingling' to occur, there must be at least to 'mingles'.
The easiest situation for mingling to occur is on a walk, because the motion of people is inherently fluid.
When walking, four people would be necessary for mingling to be possible (A talking to B and C talking to D; then a switch occurs so that A talks to C and B to D). This is the lowest number of people required for mingling to be possible.
There is no number that guarantees mingling. Mingling cannot be guaranteed in any situation.