New Research in Social Support & Friendships

New Research from Maryland:

Just published in Human Communication Research--"Compliance Dynamics within a Friendship Network II: Structural Positions Used to Garner Social Support," by Edward L. Fink (professor), Andrew C. High (University of Iowa), and Rachel Smith (Penn State University).

Abstract: Social networks play a critical role in people's responses to influence attempts, determining whether a person seeks the support of others as an alternative to compliance or as a way to cope with being the target of an influence attempt. In 2 experiments (N = 458 and N = 105), sociograms were used to represent social relationships and to investigate the social network member who would be sought for social support after an influence attempt. Results showed that targets were seen as likely to seek social support in more threatening situations and from more useful (e.g., powerful, connected) network members. Differences found in the 2 experiments appear to represent differences between intergroup and intragroup networks.

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