Informant accuracy in social network data III: A comparison of triadic structure in behavioral and cognitive data

Peter D. Killworth, Harvey Bernard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper provides a comparison of the triadic-level structure inherent in behavioral and cognitive social network data taken on the same group, using a variety of groups whose communication could easily be monitored. It is found that many types of structure occur significantly more or less than chance in both behavioral and cognitive data, and providing that these are treated in similar ways, there is good agreement between the two structures. However, there are several ways to treat behavioral data, and these produce at least two essentially different structures. If cognitive and behavioral triads are compared, triad by triad, then there is virtually no agreement between them (even though they may both display the same structure on an overall triad census). Finally, as a demonstration of the dangers of relying solely on cognitive data, an unlikely null hypothesis is proposed. This asserts - for demonstration purposes - that, under many circumstances, behavioral structure never alters. Change in structure over time apparently occurs because of informant error in the reporting of the cognitive data. A pseudo-transition matrix, giving the probability that a triad is reported as one type when data are first taken, and a different type at a later date, is calculated. This compares reasonably with a genuine transition matrix evaluated for longitudinal cognitive data. It is believed that no data currently exist which can disprove this hypothesis, unlikely though it is. Much more accurate data are therefore necessary if any reliable theory of social structure is to be produced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-46
Number of pages28
JournalSocial Networks
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Censuses
Social Support
social network
Research Design
Communication
Social Theory
social structure
census
Group
communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Informant accuracy in social network data III : A comparison of triadic structure in behavioral and cognitive data. / Killworth, Peter D.; Bernard, Harvey.

In: Social Networks, Vol. 2, No. 1, 01.01.1979, p. 19-46.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{9be78ec062b5462cae4f30353a309c83,
title = "Informant accuracy in social network data III: A comparison of triadic structure in behavioral and cognitive data",
abstract = "This paper provides a comparison of the triadic-level structure inherent in behavioral and cognitive social network data taken on the same group, using a variety of groups whose communication could easily be monitored. It is found that many types of structure occur significantly more or less than chance in both behavioral and cognitive data, and providing that these are treated in similar ways, there is good agreement between the two structures. However, there are several ways to treat behavioral data, and these produce at least two essentially different structures. If cognitive and behavioral triads are compared, triad by triad, then there is virtually no agreement between them (even though they may both display the same structure on an overall triad census). Finally, as a demonstration of the dangers of relying solely on cognitive data, an unlikely null hypothesis is proposed. This asserts - for demonstration purposes - that, under many circumstances, behavioral structure never alters. Change in structure over time apparently occurs because of informant error in the reporting of the cognitive data. A pseudo-transition matrix, giving the probability that a triad is reported as one type when data are first taken, and a different type at a later date, is calculated. This compares reasonably with a genuine transition matrix evaluated for longitudinal cognitive data. It is believed that no data currently exist which can disprove this hypothesis, unlikely though it is. Much more accurate data are therefore necessary if any reliable theory of social structure is to be produced.",
author = "Killworth, {Peter D.} and Harvey Bernard",
year = "1979",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/0378-8733(79)90009-1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "2",
pages = "19--46",
journal = "Social Networks",
issn = "0378-8733",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Informant accuracy in social network data III

T2 - A comparison of triadic structure in behavioral and cognitive data

AU - Killworth, Peter D.

AU - Bernard, Harvey

PY - 1979/1/1

Y1 - 1979/1/1

N2 - This paper provides a comparison of the triadic-level structure inherent in behavioral and cognitive social network data taken on the same group, using a variety of groups whose communication could easily be monitored. It is found that many types of structure occur significantly more or less than chance in both behavioral and cognitive data, and providing that these are treated in similar ways, there is good agreement between the two structures. However, there are several ways to treat behavioral data, and these produce at least two essentially different structures. If cognitive and behavioral triads are compared, triad by triad, then there is virtually no agreement between them (even though they may both display the same structure on an overall triad census). Finally, as a demonstration of the dangers of relying solely on cognitive data, an unlikely null hypothesis is proposed. This asserts - for demonstration purposes - that, under many circumstances, behavioral structure never alters. Change in structure over time apparently occurs because of informant error in the reporting of the cognitive data. A pseudo-transition matrix, giving the probability that a triad is reported as one type when data are first taken, and a different type at a later date, is calculated. This compares reasonably with a genuine transition matrix evaluated for longitudinal cognitive data. It is believed that no data currently exist which can disprove this hypothesis, unlikely though it is. Much more accurate data are therefore necessary if any reliable theory of social structure is to be produced.

AB - This paper provides a comparison of the triadic-level structure inherent in behavioral and cognitive social network data taken on the same group, using a variety of groups whose communication could easily be monitored. It is found that many types of structure occur significantly more or less than chance in both behavioral and cognitive data, and providing that these are treated in similar ways, there is good agreement between the two structures. However, there are several ways to treat behavioral data, and these produce at least two essentially different structures. If cognitive and behavioral triads are compared, triad by triad, then there is virtually no agreement between them (even though they may both display the same structure on an overall triad census). Finally, as a demonstration of the dangers of relying solely on cognitive data, an unlikely null hypothesis is proposed. This asserts - for demonstration purposes - that, under many circumstances, behavioral structure never alters. Change in structure over time apparently occurs because of informant error in the reporting of the cognitive data. A pseudo-transition matrix, giving the probability that a triad is reported as one type when data are first taken, and a different type at a later date, is calculated. This compares reasonably with a genuine transition matrix evaluated for longitudinal cognitive data. It is believed that no data currently exist which can disprove this hypothesis, unlikely though it is. Much more accurate data are therefore necessary if any reliable theory of social structure is to be produced.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=34248027696&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=34248027696&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/0378-8733(79)90009-1

DO - 10.1016/0378-8733(79)90009-1

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:34248027696

VL - 2

SP - 19

EP - 46

JO - Social Networks

JF - Social Networks

SN - 0378-8733

IS - 1

ER -