Questions are given in black, responses are given in blue.
1. Consider each of the research problems in Chapter 1, Problem 1. Based on the designs outlined in Tables 3.1 and 3.2, what type of research design does each of the research problems suggest?[BS1]
a. In a coeducational summer camp for teens, researchers want to know the extent to which attitudes about religion play a role in the formation of friendships within the first week of coming to camp.
b. An anthropologist is interested in studying the relationship between Canadian Inuit hunters’ structural position in a hunting advice network, as measured by indegree centrality, and their hunting success.
c. A sports psychologist is interested in studying the relationship between basketball team cohesion off the court and the number of regular-season wins among a sample of 30 US universities.
d. A political scientist hypothesizes a relationship between the presence of international trade relations and the formation of bilateral defense agreements.
e. An agricultural extension researcher proposes that time of adoption of a new fertilizer among Iowa corn farmers is related to the structural centrality of farmers in a communication network.
f. An organizational sociologist hypothesizes that the more regional sales teams have a centralized information-sharing network, the greater each team’s overall sales.
Field study. An experiment could also be attempted if the researcher had the ability to restrict information-sharing so as to make some (randomly chosen) teams have a centralized network while others would have a decentralized network. If doable, the experiment is probably preferable.
g. An educational researcher is interested in how the political views of incoming freshmen at a large university affect the formation of friendship ties over the first semester.
h. A psychologist is interested in the relationship between an astronaut’s knowledge of a mission team’s network structure and psychological well-being over the course of a 30-day simulated mission.
i. A management researcher hypothesizes that highly centralized networks are more efficient at a variety of task settings than more evenly distributed networks, and designs an experiment to test this hypothesis.
2. For each of the research questions below, discuss whether a whole- or personal-network approach is more appropriate.
a. How do social relations in a university sports club influence members’ attitudes towards university sports policies?
The question is a bit vague: either design might be appropriate.
b. To what extent is smoking behavior among adolescents affected by their social networks?
c. How much do voting patterns in a state legislature conform to political party affiliation?
Network design not needed to answer this research question.
d. How do immigrants’ social networks affect cultural assimilation?
e. Does the network structural position of a manager in a financial firm impact that manager’s performance?
f. To what extent is toothpaste brand selection affected by consumers’ social networks?
Egocentric would probably be best.
g. To what extent is the social network structure at a commercial fish camp in Canada influenced by ethnicity?
h. What factors influence the development of cooperative social relations among activists in an environmental social movement?
Either design could be useful.