Cognitive structural accuracy

Frenz, Vincent (2019-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.


ENGLISH SUMMARY : An understanding of how individuals view their social network and the implications thereof is a prominent theme in social network analysis. An individual is considered to have an accurate cognition about their social network when their perception of the relations between other actors in the social network is similar to the actual relations in the social network. Current social network accuracy measures are limited to measuring similarity between specific actors in the social network, however, it is plausible that individuals perceive their social network in terms of higher-order network structures. This research project addresses this gap in social network cognitive accuracy measures by proposing three network structural accuracy measures for determining an individual’s structural accuracy. The three structural accuracy measures were demonstrated on four social networks of two small entrepreneurial firms and compared to interpersonal accuracy. The triadic accuracy measures only showed substantial difference with regards to interpersonal accuracy in two of the four social networks. The inconclusive comparison for the two other networks may have been due to the limited number of social networks investigated. The triadic accuracy measures present the opportunity for future research to revisit previous examinations of the effects of cognitive accuracy in social networks. Further research is needed to determine how well the triadic accuracy measures provide a distinct approach to measuring structural accuracy.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : ’n Begrip van hoe individue hul sosiale netwerk beskou en die implikasies hiervan is ’n prominente tema in sosiale netwerkanalise. ’n Individu word beskou om ’n akkurate kognisie van hul sosiale netwerk te hê wanneer hul persepsie van die verhoudings tussen ander akteurs in die sosiale netwerk soortgelyk is aan die werklike verhoudings in die sosiale netwerk. Huidige sosiale netwerk akkuraatheid mates is beperk tot mates van ooreenkomste tussen spesifieke akteurs in die sosiale netwerk, maar dit is moontlik dat individue hul sosiale netwerk waarneem in terme van hoër-orde netwerkstrukture. Hierdie navorsingsprojek spreek hierdie gaping in sosiale kognitiewe netwerk akkuraatheidsmates aan deur drie netwerkstruktuur akkuraatheidsmates voor te stel om die strukturele akkuraatheid van ’n individu te bepaal. Die drie strukturele akkuraatheidsmates is gedemonstreer op vier sosiale netwerke van twee klein entrepreneursfirmas en vergelyk teen interpersoonlike akkuraatheid. Die triadiese akkuraatheidsmates het slegs merkwaardige verskille ten opsigte van interpersoonlike akkuraatheid in twee van die vier sosiale netwerke getoon. Die onbesliste vergelyking van die twee ander netwerke mag as gevolg wees van die beperkte hoeveelheid sosiale netwerke wat ondersoek was. Die triadiese akkuraatheidsmates bied die geleentheid aan vir toekomstige navorsing om vorige ondersoeke van die effekte van kognitiewe akkuraatheid in sosiale netwerke te herondersoek. Verdere navorsing is nodig om te bepaal hoe geskik die triadiese akkuraatheidsmates is om strukturele akkuraatheid te meet.

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