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Activity Number: 498
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Learning and Data Science
Abstract #320971
Title: Structural Balance in Village Social Networks with Antagonistic Ties
Author(s): Derek Feng*
Companies: Yale University
Keywords: Balance Theory ; Social Networks ; Negative Ties

Friendship and antipathy exist in concert with one another in real social networks. Despite the role they play in social interactions (e.g., the enemy of my enemy is my friend), antagonistic ties are poorly understood. Here, we comprehensively measure both positive and negative ties in 32 isolated, rural villages in Honduras. As expected, antagonistic networks have different structural properties than positive networks. We propose and implement a novel measure of network "balance" that more properly accounts for triadic closure in social networks, and we show that, across the villages, there is evidence for balance in social tie formation, but also that the 32 social networks vary in the extent of their balance. This measure is in turn correlated, across the villages, with other variables, suggesting it may play a role in collective social phenomena, including the spread of germs or information.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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