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To me, the interesting question is not the "mind's capacity", but whether there may be cognitive biasses in perceiving networks. That's why the cognitive social structure work is relevant to this question. There is evidence that we humans see networks as more structured than they actually are (see Koehly & Pattison in Carrington, Scott and Wasserman, 2005; also Kumbasar et al, 1994, which they cite.) Casciaro did some interesting work on network perception in the 1990s. More recently, have a look at Igarashi and Kashima (2011) in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, involving some network perception experimental manipulations and perceptions of "group-ness". If you get down to specific types of network ties, then Lutz and Lakey and colleagues have done some interesting work in regard to social support networks, about the factors that lead individuals perceiving that a social support tie is present.





Garry Robins

Professor

School of Psychological Sciences

The University of Melbourne

Australia



+61 3 8344 4454

http://www.psych.unimelb.edu.au/people/staff/RobinsG.html





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From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Marten Düring [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, 25 January 2012 11:45 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Question regarding the human mind's capacity to make sense of network structures

***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** Hi all
I am wondering whether someone could point me to research on the human mind's capacity to map and make sense of (social) network structures independently from any external tools. In other words: Up to which number of actors and ties are we able to understand network structures fairly well?

Thanks
Marten

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Marten Düring

Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen
Goethestr. 31
45128 Essen

www.kulturwissenschaften.de<http://www.kulturwissenschaften.de>
www.memory-research.de<http://www.memory-research.de>
https://sites.google.com/site/historicalnetworkresearch

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