I am afraid I have not much news to offer about preventing nasty and unintended measurement effects. But, if (only) regarding reliability, I would suggest that you ask network questions not only precise, but also bidirectionally. For instance ask "who did you give <a certain kind of> advice" and also "who did give you <a certain kind> of advice". Afterwards you can compare how the same flow of advice is reported by giver and receiver (in this case you do not control for reciprocity, but truly for reliability).
I followed this strategy in 1995/1996 when measuring practical and emotional support within classrooms. If you are interested: Christian Steglich and me will report about this subject at the next Sunbelt in Slovenia.
Van: Social Networks Discussion Forum namens Peter Malling
Verzonden: ma 16-2-2004 15:52
Aan: [log in to unmask]
Onderwerp: Nasty questions about relations
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We would like to measure the strength of dyadic ties (concerning how
well people communicate face2face) in a number of small groups. However,
we have some concern on how the effect will be for the actors filling in
the questionnaire. Even though the set up will be so that people can
(and are asked to) fill in the questionnaire alone (web-based survey),
and the results will be anonymized before publication, we are afraid
that the very act of filling in the questionnaire will be a bad
experience for the actors, possibly biasing the result of the survey
(some people simply don't like admitting to themselves that there are
some people they don't rate so high), and having a negative effect on
the subsequent team work, (if people talk about how they have filled out
the questionnaires: who did you rate high, who did you rate low, etc.)
Do you have any ideas on how to cope with a problem like this?
Formulation of the question; the use of ranking (in order to "force"
people to discriminate between the relationships); other, not
selfreported, measurements for the strength of communication ties.
Regards from Denmark,
MA Psychology and Computer Science
Department of Organization and Management
University of Southern Denmark
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Tel (direct): +45 65503187
DK-5230 Odense M
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