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I am seeking ideas and suggestions on how one accounts for tie strength of
an ego node, when you are studying over 100 ego nodes individually. In my
study, relational data is collected from over 100 individuals, where each
individual may elicit up to maximum 15 ties. The research model tests
whether tie strength is associated with individual outcome, eg. attitude to
Tie strength in my study is measured by:
- closeness (4 point scale from very close to distant) and
- frequency of contact (5 point scale ranging from daily to less often),
although data on other variables such as 'time known' and 'relationship
type' is also available.
When it comes to calculation of tie strength for an ego node, how does one
account for it? To the best of my knowledge and from what I've read from
literature, one may
1. use the average strength of ties for an ego (ie. sum the values of each
tie from ego to alter and divide by count of ties). In this case, the values
of each tie may be:
(i) the average of closeness and frequency values, or
(ii) the product of closeness and frequency values
2. using 1, but take only the average of the top 5 or top 7 ties to the ego.
This allows for comparison using a common baseline.
Other approaches have been to consider tie strength of a node in terms of
network proportions (see Reagans, R., & McEvily, B. (2003). Network
Structure and Knowledge Transfer: The Effects of Cohesion and Range.
Administrative Science Quarterly, 48, 240-267.), however, I understand this
only works for sociocentric networks and not for ego networks as in my
I'd like to confirm whether my limited understanding is correct and welcome
comments and suggestions from you all.
Kon Shing, Kenneth Chung
School of Information Technologies
University of Sydney
NSW 2006, Australia
P: +61 2 9351 5639
F: +61 2 9351 3838
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