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As network researchers, we should TRY to get the media to note that
different types of relationships might create different structures and
patterns. The "important matters" question doesn't measure friends or
"people you saw or spoke to once a week"....it measures very, very close
ties, including a large number of kin. (I know that a lot of media
outlets reported the 2006 results as "friends": one can only lead them in
the right direction.....they don't always follow ;-)
A plug for the GSS: the "important matters question" is being asked
again in the 2010 survey (now in the field), with a carefully designed
survey experiment that will measure context effects (which are bound to be
large). We'll know a lot more about that particular type of network after
these new data come in. Having data on the same type of networks at
several points in time is the only way that we'll learn about these
patterns. Kudos to Wang and Wellman for doing that with their question.
More context/measurement studies would also be great.
Cheers, Lynn S-L
On Mon, 26 Jul 2010, Barry Wellman wrote:
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> Nice that the word is -- finally -- getting out.
> Dr DePaulo also has a longer version in Psychology Today.
> My expectation is that HuffPo will get more media play
> Barry Wellman
> See below:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 03:03:02 -0700
> From: Bella DePaulo <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]
> Subject: thanks for your important work
> So good to see that myth of growing social isolation getting debunked:
> --Bella DePaulo
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