Social Influence Network Theory

Social Influence Network Theory : A Sociological Examination of Small Group Dynamics

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Description

Social influence network theory presents a mathematical formalization of the social process of attitude changes that unfolds in a social network of interpersonal influences. This book brings the theory to bear on lines of research in the domain of small group dynamics concerned with changes of group members' positions on an issue, including the formation of consensus and of settled disagreement, via endogenous interpersonal influences, in which group members are responding to the displayed positions of the members of the group. Social influence network theory advances a dynamic social cognition mechanism, in which individuals are weighing and combining their own and others' positions on an issue in the revision of their own positions. The influence network construct of the theory is the social structure of the endogenous interpersonal influences that are involved in this mechanism. With this theory, the authors seek to lay the foundation for a better formal integration of classical and current lines of work on small groups in psychological and sociological social psychology.show more

Product details

  • Electronic book text | 378 pages
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 24 b/w illus. 42 tables
  • 1139065696
  • 9781139065696

Table of contents

Part I. Introduction: 1. Group dynamics: structural social psychology; 2. Formalization: attitude change in influence networks; 3. Operationalization: constructs and measures; 4. Assessing the model; Part II. Influence Network Perspective on Small Groups: 5. Consensus formation and efficiency; 6. The smallest group; 7. Social comparison theory; 8. Minority and majority factions; 9. Choice shift and group polarization; Part III. Linkages with Other Formal Theories: 10. Models of group decision making; 11. Expectation states and affect control; 12. Individuals in groups; Epilogue; Appendices.show more

Review quote

"Social Influence Network Theory pivots on a process model of attitude formation and change that accords pride of place to interpersonal influences mediated by social connections. Friedkin and Johnsen bring contemporary social network theory to bear on fundamental and long-standing puzzles about group process and functioning, including consensus formation, polarization, factionalization, and decision making. Their book - a potent and welcome contribution to social network science - both demands and gives serious attention to how and why 'network effects' operate, on individuals and groups alike." - Peter V. Marsden, Harvard University "This book provides an elegant formal model of the social influence process among people in groups and social networks and shows how this model can be used to illuminate and integrate basic processes in group dynamics such as social comparison, majority/minority influence, group polarization, and the effects of status structures. Social scientists have long acknowledged that the social influence process is central to the ways that individuals think and act and social structures emerge. This book shows how we can systemize our understanding of this core social process and gain a powerful analytic purchase on the ways that people make groups and groups make people. It is a must read for serious students of group dynamics, especially mathematically oriented ones." - Cecilia L. Ridgeway, Lucie Stern Professor, Stanford University "Summarizing their thoughts over many years, Noah Friedkin and Eugene Johnsen have written a book that will influence the way people think about influence in small groups for years to come." - Peter Bearman, Columbia Universityshow more

About Noah E. Friedkin

Noah E. Friedkin is Professor and former Chair of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of A Structural Theory of Social Influence (Cambridge University Press, 1998), which received the award for Best Book in Mathematical Sociology from the Mathematical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association, as well as articles in various scholarly journals, including The American Sociological Review, The American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces and The Administrative Science Quarterly. He is an elected member of the Sociological Research Association. Professor Friedkin's areas of research specialization are social psychology, mathematical sociology, and formal organizations. Eugene C. Johnsen is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, former Vice Chair of Mathematics, and former Director of Summer Sessions at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His mathematical publications have appeared in such journals as the Canadian Journal of Mathematics, Linear Algebra and its Applications, Linear and Multilinear Algebra, the Journal of Algebra, Mathematische Zeitschrift, and the Journal of Combinatorial Theory, and his social science publications have appeared in such journals as Social Networks, the Journal of Mathematical Sociology, Social Science Research, Sociological Methods and Research, and Advances in Group Processes. He held a National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associateship at the National Bureau of Standards and has been a principal investigator or co-investigator on grants from the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Professor Johnsen's research has been in the areas of linear algebra, combinatorics, social networks, and mathematical sociology.show more

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