This paper examines whether clique-structure in cognitive data (i.e. recall of who one talks to) may be used as a proxy for clique-structure in behavioral data (i.e. who one actually talks to). The answer to this question is crucial to much of sociometric and social net-theoretic studies of social structure. We analysed the clique structures of the communication patterns of four naturally occurring groups of sizes 34 to 58, whose actual communications could easily be monitored, together with the groups' perceptions of their communications. The groups used were: radio hams, a college fraternity, a group of office workers, and an academic department. The analysis used clique-finding, block-modelling, and factor-analytic techniques, all employed in such a way as to maximize the accuracy of the cognitive data. After defining a way to compare clique structures between behavioral and cognitive data, we found that there was no useful relationship between the two, and furthermore there was no significant difference in performance between any of the structure-finding algorithms. We conclude that cognitive data may not be used for drawing any conclusions about behavioral social structure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences(all)