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Hi Patrick -
I think the power of a good visualization is: (a)
building structural intuition that cannot be had
through a single-dimension index or parameter
estimate, (b) helping to situate any resulting
statistical score (so, for example, a "high"
centralization score can mean very different
things depending on the gross topography of the
network, which will at least be hinted at in the
visualization), and (c) effectively communicating
the substance of a finding to and audience.
Visualization without corresponding measures or
statistical analyses is alot like reading
tea-leaves, but analyses without visualization
runs a parallel risk of a false / decontextual
sense of "exactness" about statistics (think of
how many different scatter plots can generate a
"stong" positive regression slope). Networks are
very multi-dimensional critters: a good
visualization can often let you see combinations
of factors that would otherwise be missed.
At 12:09 AM 4/14/2006, you wrote:
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>I have been examining a network (over time) of
>high school kids on their drug behaviors.
>One of the reviewers has serious doubts on the
>usefulness of sociograms included in my paper.
>S/he argues that the sociograms included did not
>add any information other than the central
>position of a few kids and the connectivity of
>the remaining kids to those central kids and
>that all the information should be revealed by
>other statistics (such as those from cross-tabs
>and univariate/bivariate analysis).
>I included several attributes of kids (their
>sex, grade, etc.) and the strengths of
>connections in the sociograms but having
>difficulty responding to his/her criticisms.
>1) How can I respond to his/her criticisms?
>2) Whar are some general purposes of sociograms
>and any references that I can take a look at and/or cite.
>Any suggestions or advice would be really appreciated.
>Thanks a million in advance,
>Blab-away for as little as 1¢/min.
>Make PC-to-Phone Calls using Yahoo! Messenger with Voice.
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Department of Sociology
Ohio State University
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