Tag Archives | Social Influence

Social Influence on Observed Race

Zsófia Boda

Sociological Science, January 18, 2018
DOI 10.15195/v5.a3

This article introduces a novel theoretical approach for understanding racial fluidity, emphasizing the social embeddedness of racial classifications. We propose that social ties affect racial perceptions through within-group micromechanisms, resulting in discrepancies between racial self-identifications and race as classified by others. We demonstrate this empirically on data from 12 Hungarian high school classes with one minority group (the Roma) using stochastic actor-oriented models for the analysis of social network panel data. We find strong evidence for social influence: individuals tend to accept their peers’ judgement about another student’s racial category; opinions of friends have a larger effect than those of nonfriends. Perceived social position also matters: those well-accepted among majority-race peers are likely to be classified as majority students themselves. We argue that similar analyses in other social contexts shall lead to a better understanding of race and interracial processes.

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Zsófia Boda: Chair of Social Networks, ETH Zürich; Nuffield College, University of Oxford; MTA TK “Lendület” Research Center for Educational and Network Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Email: zsofia.boda@gess.ethz.ch

Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA; grant K 881336) and the Economic and Social Research Council (grant ES/J500112/1). The data were collected in the scope of the MTA TK “Lendület” Research Center for Educational and Network Studies. I would like to thank Tom Snijders, Janne Jonsson, Károly Takács, Bálint Néray, András Vörös, Christoph Stadtfeld, Per Block, Brooks Paige, James Moody, John Ermisch, and many other colleagues for helpful comments on different versions of this article.

  • Citation: Boda, Zsófia. 2018. “Social Influence on Observed Race.” Sociological Science 5: 29-57.
  • Received: November 4, 2017
  • Accepted: December 4, 2017
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Mario Small
  • DOI: 10.15195/v5.a3

Timing Matters: How Social Influence Affects Adoption Pre- and Post-Product Release

Sara B. Soderstrom, Brian Uzzi, Derek D. Rucker, James H. Fowler, Daniel Diermeier

Sociological Science, October 24, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a40

Social influence is typically studied after a product is released. Yet, audience expectations and discussions begin before a product’s release. This observation suggests a need to understand adoption processes over a product’s life cycle. To explore pre- and postrelease social influence processes, this article uses survey data from Americans exposed to word of mouth for 309 Hollywood movies released over two and a half years. The data suggest pre- and postrelease social influences operate differently. Prerelease social influence displays a critical transition point with relation to adoption: before a critical value, any level of social influence is negligibly related to adoption, but after the critical value, the relationship between social influence and adoption is large and substantive. In contrast, postrelease social influence exhibits a positive linear relationship with adoption. Prerelease social influence is argued to require more exposures than postrelease social influence because of differences in the diagnosticity and accessibility of the information. To complement the survey data, computational models are used to test alternative hypotheses. Evidence from the computational models supports the proposed model of social influence.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Sara B. Soderstrom: Organizational Studies and Program in the Environment, University of Michigan
Email: capasb@umich.edu

Brian Uzzi: Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Email: uzzi@kellogg.northwestern.edu

Derek D. Rucker: Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Email: d-rucker@kellogg.northwestern.edu

James H. Fowler: Political Science, University of California, San Diego
Email: fowler@ucsd.edu

Daniel Diermeier: Provost, The University of Chicago
Email: ddiermeier@uchicago.edu

Acknowledgements: This research was sponsored by the Northwestern University Institute on Complex Systems, the Army Research Laboratory under Cooperative Agreement Number W911NF-09-2-0053, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency grant BAA-11-64, Social Media in Strategic Communication. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Laboratory or the U.S. government.

  • Citation: Soderstrom, Sara B., Brian Uzzi, Derek D. Rucker, James H. Fowler and Daniel Diermeier. 2016. “Timing Matters: How Social Influence Affects Adoption Pre- and Post-product Release.” Sociological Science 3: 915-939.
  • Received: February 24, 2016
  • Accepted: August 21, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a40

Why is the Pack Persuasive? The Effect of Choice Status on Perceptions of Quality

Freda B. Lynn, Brent Simpson, Mark H. Walker, Colin Peterson

Sociological Science, April 8, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a12

The logic of social proof and related arguments posits that decision makers interpret an actor’s sociometric position (such as popularity) as a signal for quality, especially when quality itself is difficult to ascertain. Although prior work shows that market-level behavioral patterns are consistent with this micro-level account, we seek to explicitly examine the extent to which (and the conditions under which) sociometric status information actually triggers assumptions about an actor’s underlying quality. We introduce two new web-based experiments to investigate how popularity impacts the selection of teammates. We find that the presence of popularity information creates a surprisingly robust quality halo around candidates in some situations but has no effect at all in others. Namely, consistent with Strang and Macy’s (2001) theory of adaptive emulation, choice status appears to affect quality perceptions as part of the rationalization for making attachments, but the halo disappears post-adoption. The implications of these results are discussed in the conclusion.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Freda B. Lynn: Department of Sociology, University of Iowa  Email: freda-lynn@uiowa.edu

Brent Simpson: Department of Sociology, University of South Carolina Email: BTS@mailbox.sc.edu

Mark H. Walker: Department of Sociology, Louisiana State University E-mail: mwalk67@lsu.edu

Colin Peterson: Department of Sociology, Stanford University E-mail: cpeterson@stanford.edu.

Acknowledgements: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1058236. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. We wish to thank Sarah Harkness and Michael Sauder for their helpful comments on study 1. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual Group Processes conference in 2014.

  • Citation: Freda B. Lynn, Brent Simpson, Mark H. Walker, and Colin Peterson. 2016. “Why is the Pack Persuasive? The Effect of Choice Status on Perceptions of Quality.” Sociological Science 3: 239-263.
  • Received: July 16, 2015.
  • Accepted: July 23, 2015.
  • Editors: Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a12

The Social Contagion of Antisocial Behavior

Milena Tsvetkova, Michael W. Macy

Sociological Science, February 4, 2015
DOI 10.15195/v2.a4

Previous research has shown that reciprocity can be contagious when there is no option to repay the benefactor and the recipient instead channels repayment toward strangers. In this study, we test whether retaliation can also be contagious. Extending previous work on “paying it forward,” we tested two mechanisms for the social contagion of antisocial behavior: generalized reciprocity (a victim of antisocial behavior is more likely to pay it forward) and third-party influence (an observer of antisocial behavior is more likely to emulate it). We used an online experiment with randomized trials to test the two hypothesized mechanisms and their interaction by manipulating the extent to which participants experienced and observed antisocial behavior. We found that people are more likely to harm others if they have been harmed and they are less likely to do so if they observe that others do not harm.
Milena Tsvetkova: Department of Sociology, Cornell University  E-mail: mvt9@cornell.edu

Michael W. Macy: Department of Sociology and Department of Information Science, Cornell University  Email: m.macy@cornell.edu

  • Citation: Tsvetkova, Milena, and Michael W. Macy. 2015. “The Social Contagion of Antisocial Behavior.” Sociological Science 2:36-49
  • Received: November 24, 2014
  • Accepted: January 5, 2015
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen,  Gabriel Rossman
  • DOI: 10.15195/v2.a4