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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2010 Nov;99(5):855-69. doi: 10.1037/a0020961.

Do you two know each other? Transitivity, homophily, and the need for (network) closure.

Author information

1
Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. flynn_francis@gsb.stanford.edu

Abstract

The authors investigate whether need for closure affects how people seek order in judging social relations. In Study 1, the authors find that people who have a high need for closure (NFC) were more likely to assume their social contacts were connected to each other (i.e., transitivity) when this was not the case. In Studies 2 and 3, the authors examine another form of order in network relations--racial homophily--and find that high-NFC participants were more inclined to believe that 2 individuals from the same racial category (e.g., African American) were friends than two racially dissimilar individuals. Furthermore, high-NFC individuals were more likely to make errors when judging a racially mixed group of people; specifically, they recalled more racial homophily (racially similar people sitting closer together) than had actually appeared.

PMID:
20954787
DOI:
10.1037/a0020961
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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