A Structural Theory of Social Influence (Structural Analysis by Noah E. Friedkin

By Noah E. Friedkin

This e-book describes how a community of interpersonal impact can function to shape agreements between individuals who occupy diversified positions in a gaggle or association. It provides an account of consensus formation that's exact in its integration of labor from the fields of social psychology and sociology desirous about crew dynamics and social buildings.

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Closely related to this mechanism of weighting interpersonal influences is a mechanism of abridgment, whereby conflict is reduced by terminating relations with certain actors. Schachter (1951) and others have dealt with this process in terms of a cessation of interaction with "deviant" actors who hold highly divergent opinions from those of their peers. Similarly, Festinger's (1954) social comparison theory suggests that the amount of interpersonal influence between two actors is a negative function of their degree of opinion discrepancy.

Even in circumstances where a massive consensus and a coherent system of coordinated action do not exist, there may be areas of the social structure in which interpersonal agreements and coordinated activity are maintained. The conclusion that interpersonal agreements are not mechanistically determined by institutionalized arrangements underscores the importance of a line of inquiry concerned with the question of how such agreements are established and maintained, and it justifies the importance of addressing possible structural conditions and social processes that have a bearing on the formation of interpersonal agreements.

In such a case, the relative influence of some actor k, who influences both / and j , will be greater on actor / than on actor /: wik < wjk for all k =£ [i, /}. 1 Social Influence Network Theory 27 in absolute magnitude than those on actor z. Of course, within the context of the bundle of interpersonal influences on an actor whose selfweight is not maximal (and therefore who is influenced by others), the stronger the influence of an actor k in this bundle, the stronger the relative weight of k.

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