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SOCNET  January 2006

SOCNET January 2006

Subject:

Re: CSS & "A Million Little Pieces"

From:

Tom Valente <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 23 Jan 2006 13:36:41 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (190 lines)

*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****

All:
We also found that people did a poor job of estimating their friends' 
self reports of their contraceptive use, but perceiving their friends' 
use whether accurate or inaccurate was strongly associated with use.
Valente, T.W., Watkins, S., Jato, M.N., Van der Straten, A., & Tsitsol, 
L.M.  (1997). Social network associations with contraceptive use among 
Cameroonian women in voluntary associations.  Social Science and 
Medicine, 45, 677-687.

-Tom

Johnson, Jeffrey C wrote:

>*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
>This question about the relationship between behavior and people's
>reports of behavior was debated heavily in the late 70's and throughout
>the 80's.  For a review of this work (Bernard, Killworth, Sailer,
>Freeman and Freeman, Romney, Faust, Weller etc.) see:
>
> J.C. Johnson. "Anthropological Contributions to the Study of Social
>Networks: A Review." In (S. Wasserman and J. Galaskiowicz, eds.)
>Advances in Social Network Analysis: Research in the Social and
>Behavioral Sciences. Sage: Newbury Park. 1994.
>
>And
>
> J.C. Johnson and M.K. Orbach. "Perceiving the Political Landscape: Ego
>Biases in Cognitive Political Networks". Social Networks 24 (2002)
>291-310.
>
>
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
>Behalf Of Michael Reed
>Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2006 7:55 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: CSS & "A Million Little Pieces"
>
>*****  To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org  *****
>
>I'm a cultural anthropologist who is new to new SNA; hence, I've turned
>to 
>Krackhardt's High-Tech Managers data (including the 1987 article,
>"Cognitive 
>Social Structures")--recommended by Wasserman and Faust (1994)--as a way
>to 
>learn about a "simple," one-mode, 3-relation set of SNA data. (I'm about
>to 
>conduct similar data collection with a group of 40 women entrepreneurs.)
>
>As I was reading the 1987 article (expecting, modestly, to learn some
>basic 
>SNA skills), I was struck by the actual focus of Krackhardt's research, 
>i.e., the contention that "...what people say...bears no useful
>resemblance 
>to their behavior" (Bernard et al., 1982). The article bears down on 
>BEHAVIOR ("what actually happened") vs. COGNITION/PERCEPTION ("people's 
>perceptions, often in retrospect, of what actually happened").
>
>I am intrigued by Figure 3 in the article, which shows Person 15's
>"slice" 
>(how he/she sees relations between pairs of the 21 managers), vs.
>Figures 1 
>& 2 (the "locally aggregated" and "consensus" structures). It is clear
>that 
>Person 15's perceptions are wildly different from the more "objective" 
>measures. I personally would be concerned if my own perceptions of
>"reality" 
>varied that much from "actual reality"! I would be tempted to say
>cynically 
>that Person 15 is "living in a bubble"! (but that's no doubt unfair).
>For 
>example, in my daily life, I frequently try to do "reality checks" to
>make 
>certain that my thoughts and perceptions jibe, more or less, with those
>of 
>other people.
>
>Finally, I just happened to read the Krackhardt article right after
>reading 
>Mary Karr's op-ed piece, "His So-Called Life," in the Jan. 15 NYTimes.
>Here 
>she weighs in on the recent uproar about James Frey ("A Million Little 
>Pieces") and the question: Should a memoir be held to higher "factual" 
>standards than a piece of fiction? As someone who wrote a daily research
>
>journal in Africa and who is now in the midst of trying to finish a
>novel, I 
>am very interested in whether or not it is even possible for a memoirist
>to 
>accurately document on paper "the way life and behavior ACTUALLY
>occurred at 
>some past time." (As a novelist, I am most concerned with what I would
>call 
>"emotional truth," although getting the "facts" straight is important,
>too.)
>
>I know my own memory to often be extremely "inaccurate"; I don't know if
>
>this inaccuracy is a function of my advancing age (54) or simply of the
>fact 
>that I didn't pay as much attention to memory when I was younger and
>thus 
>didn't see how problematic it is. Sometimes I'm nearly resigned to
>believing 
>that all human memory is basically a "creative reconstruction" (done in
>the 
>present according to present needs and wants) of the past. That's why 
>historians turn to written, archival sources for help (not that they are
>
>without bias or error--we can never escape the fact that fallible humans
>are 
>involved).
>
>Still, I do believe that something like actual, "objective" human
>behaviors 
>happen in the world. The question is, How accurately can we humans
>measure 
>or remember or understand those behaviors, i.e., "what really happened"?
>
>Krackhardt ends his article by stating, "But the task of future research
>
>should not be to show that behaviors are more important than cognitions,
>nor 
>that cognitions are more important than behaviors. Rather, our task will
>be 
>to show the consequence of each--behavior and cognitions."
>
>As someone who believes that there IS an important difference between a 
>memoir and a piece of fiction, I would have to say that, in some sense,
>the 
>behaviors must take precedence (although I admit that "behavior" is
>itself a 
>cognitive creation; we never escape from our mental jail): we need to
>make 
>certain that our cognition about the past doesn't willfully (or even 
>unintentionally) distort past behaviors.
>
>Michael C. Reed, Ph.D.
>Independent Consultant & Cultural Anthropologist
>Kalamazoo, Mich., USA
>[log in to unmask]   Tel. 269-342-4025  Cell phone 269-808-8983
>
>_____________________________________________________________________
>SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
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>
>_____________________________________________________________________
>SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
>network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
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>
>  
>

-- 
To learn more about my evaluation book go to:
http://www.oup-usa.org/isbn/0195141768.html
My personal webpage:
http://www-hsc.usc.edu/~tvalente/
---
Thomas W. Valente, PhD
Director, Master of Public Health Program
http://www.usc.edu/medicine/mph/
Department of  Preventive Medicine
School of Medicine
University of Southern California
1000 S. Fremont Ave.
Building A Room 5133
Alhambra CA 91803
phone: (626) 457-6678
fax: (626) 457-6699
email: [log in to unmask]



_____________________________________________________________________
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
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