Estimating the size of personal networks

Peter D. Killworth, Eugene C. Johnsen, Harvey Bernard, Gene Ann Shelley, Christopher McCarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Some methods for estimating the total size of personal communication networks are presented. All involve the scaling-up of a reported network size by a factor proportional to the number of people whom informants can recall when they are presented with a representative list of last names from a telephone directory. Estimates from Jacksonville, Florida give network sizes of 1700±400; reevaluations of an estimate made for Orange County give 2025; and estimates from Mexico City give network sizes of about 600. The difficulties, and sources of error, in these estimates, are discussed. The estimates are compared with independent estimates based on the likelihood of informants knowing members of a small, countable subpopulation, which suggests for U.S. informants a network size of 1526. Thus consistent numbers are beginning to emerge, at least for U.S. informants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-312
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Networks
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

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Directories
Mexico
Telephone
Names
Research Design
Communication
scaling
telephone
communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Killworth, P. D., Johnsen, E. C., Bernard, H., Ann Shelley, G., & McCarty, C. (1990). Estimating the size of personal networks. Social Networks, 12(4), 289-312. https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-8733(90)90012-X

Estimating the size of personal networks. / Killworth, Peter D.; Johnsen, Eugene C.; Bernard, Harvey; Ann Shelley, Gene; McCarty, Christopher.

In: Social Networks, Vol. 12, No. 4, 01.01.1990, p. 289-312.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Killworth, PD, Johnsen, EC, Bernard, H, Ann Shelley, G & McCarty, C 1990, 'Estimating the size of personal networks', Social Networks, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 289-312. https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-8733(90)90012-X
Killworth PD, Johnsen EC, Bernard H, Ann Shelley G, McCarty C. Estimating the size of personal networks. Social Networks. 1990 Jan 1;12(4):289-312. https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-8733(90)90012-X
Killworth, Peter D. ; Johnsen, Eugene C. ; Bernard, Harvey ; Ann Shelley, Gene ; McCarty, Christopher. / Estimating the size of personal networks. In: Social Networks. 1990 ; Vol. 12, No. 4. pp. 289-312.
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