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If you're aiming to do a conventional analysis of the resulting network, you
have to decide whether to treat a group-directed remark as entailing
simultaneous communications from ego to each alter, or one communication from
ego to a fictitious group actor (another column in the matrix -- though perhaps
not one from which communications can issue), or a communication to no one at
all. My preference has been to treat group-directed remarks and
ambiguously-directed remarks identically, mainly because they can be difficult
to distinguish in practice. Daniel McFarland, in contrast, prefers to think of
a group-directed remark in terms of simultaneously activated dyadic channels.
His solution is more compatible with conventional network measures and
If you're just aggregating through time, you might divide by the number of
people to whom an utterance was simultaneously directed, so that a direct
remark from me to you would add 1 to the i,j cell, while a remark from me to a
group of ten people (excluding myself) would add .1 to each i,j cell. Of
course, interpretation will be tricky, for instance of centrality if you don't
buy the implicit phenomenology behind that weighting. Another option would be
to analyze the network of directed remarks and tendencies toward group-directed
Whichever approach you take, be warned that if you're aggregating through time
in order to generate one summary matrix of who spoke to whom, you're at risk of
eliding sequential dependencies, such as the fact that it's hard to address
someone who didn't recently speak. In my view, time-collapsed who-to-whom
matrices are partially artifacts of those kinds of sequential effects.
Gibson, David R. 2005. "Taking Turns and Talking Ties: Network Structure and
Conversational Sequences." American Journal of Sociology (forthcoming May
issue, I hope).
Moody, James, Daniel McFarland, and Skye Bender-deMoll. 2005. "Dynamic Network
Visualization." American Journal of Sociology 110:1206-41.
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Quoting "Van Patten, Isaac T" <[log in to unmask]>:
> ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
> In analyzing the communications matrix of a group meeting (who addresses
> whom) is it legitimate to include "Group" as a recipient of
> communications addressed to the group as whole in a directional network?
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