The casual effect of relational mobility on integration of social networks: An agent-based modeling approach

Man Wai LI, Shengyuan WANG, Ying LIN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Despite converging evidence for the importance of relational mobility on shaping people’s social experiences, previous work suggested mixed findings for its influence on the structure of sociocentric networks, which lays the basis for the development of all types of social relationships. Additionally, as it is timely and economically intractable to administer such longitudinal experiments in real-life settings, most previous work mainly relied on cross-sectional correlation analyses and provided limited causal evidence. The current research used an agent-based modeling approach to examine whether higher relational mobility (i.e., the number of opportunities to meet new people) would promote integration among social networks over time. Using parameters derived from survey data, we simulated how the integration of sociocentric social networks evolves under different levels of relational mobility. Based on the data of three network structural indicators, including modularity, global efficiency, and standard deviation of nodal betweenness, we obtained causal evidence supporting that higher relational mobility promotes greater network integration. These findings highlight the power of socioecological demands on our social experiences. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Psychology
Early online dateJun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jun 2022

Citation

Li, L. M. W., Wang, S., & Lin, Y. (2022). The casual effect of relational mobility on integration of social networks: An agent-based modeling approach. Current Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12144-022-03130-x

Keywords

  • Relational mobility
  • Social network
  • Social network integration
  • Socioecological approach
  • Agent-based modeling

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