ABSTRACT | Previous research has looked at the dynamics of social networks mainly in the context of friendship relations. In this seminar, the benefits of studying social network dynamics in multiplex dimensions are illustrated using social network panel data from Hungarian schools. By taking into account positive as well as negative relations between pupils in the classroom, we demonstrate how social relations evolve towards structural balance. Status attributions modify balance-related processes, but direct status attributions themselves are not necessarily in line with the perception of who is considered as having high or low status in the group. We show that the discrepancy between direct and indirect status attributions (valued perceptions about peers vs. perceptions about the status of peers) is largely responsible for the evolution of negative sentiments towards peers. As another illustration of the complexity of social network dynamics, we demonstrate the importance of desk-mate relations in friendship formation and academic outcomes.
Keywords: dynamics of social networks, structural balance, negative ties, status discrepancy, friendship formation, desk-mates, test-scores
BIO | Károly Takács is the Principal Investigator of MTA TK “Lendület” Research Center for Educational and Network Studies (RECENS). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Groningen / ICS in 2002. His main research interests are the theoretical, experimental, and empirical analysis of the dynamics of social networks and reputations, in relation to problems of cooperation and conflict. He has received the “Lendület” grant of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2012 and runs an ERC Consolidator Grant since 2015. His main international publications appeared in Advances in Complex Systems, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Journal of Applied Mathematics, JASSS, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Organization Science, Physica A, PLOS One, Research Policy, Scientometrics, Social Networks, and Social Psychology Quarterly.
You can watch the video of the talk here (slides included in PDF).