American Sociological Association

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  1. Frame-Induced Group Polarization in Small Discussion Networks

    We present a novel explanation for the group polarization effect whereby discussion among like-minded individuals induces shifts toward the extreme. Our theory distinguishes between a quantitative policy under debate and the discussion’s rhetorical frame, such as the likelihood of an outcome. If policy and frame position are mathematically related so that frame position increases more slowly as the policy becomes more extreme, majority formation at the extreme is favored, thereby shifting consensus formation toward the extreme.
  2. Exchange, Identity Verification, and Social Bonds

    Although evidence reveals that the social exchange process and identity verification process each can produce social bonds, researchers have yet to examine their conjoined effects. In this paper, we consider how exchange processes and identity processes separately and jointly shape the social bonds that emerge between actors. We do this with data from an experiment that introduces the fairness person identity (how people define themselves in terms of fairness) in a negotiated exchange context.
  3. Biases of Online Political Polls: Who Participates?

    With a large portion of the population online and the high cost of phone-based surveys, querying people about their voter preference online can offer an affordable and timely alternative. However, given that there are biases in who adopts various sites and services that are often used as sampling frames (e.g., various social media), online political polls may not represent the views of the overall population. How are such polls biased? Who is most likely to participate in them?
  4. Analyzing the Social Construction of Media Claims: Enhancing Media Literacy in Social Problems Classes

    Recent research has called on scholars to develop pedagogical interventions to address issues of media literacy. This teaching note answers that call by describing a media literacy project designed for use in social problems classes. The project acquaints students to the constructionist approach to social problems and the method of content analysis. Guided by the principles of scaffolding, the note discusses how students are guided through a series of readings, assignments, and activities that enables them to analyze how social problems are portrayed in news media.
  5. Something Old, Something New: When Gender Matters in the Relationship between Social Support and Health

    This paper investigates how social support differentially benefits self-rated health among men and women hospitalized with heart disease. Using cross-sectional data about patients admitted to a university hospital, we examine the extent to which gender moderates effects for the frequency of contact with family, friends, and neighbors on health and whether these effects differ between those with new versus established diagnoses. We find that gender differentiates the effect of nonmarital family contact on health but only when heart disease is newly diagnosed.
  6. Causal Inference with Networked Treatment Diffusion

    Treatment interference (i.e., one unit’s potential outcomes depend on other units’ treatment) is prevalent in social settings. Ignoring treatment interference can lead to biased estimates of treatment effects and incorrect statistical inferences. Some recent studies have started to incorporate treatment interference into causal inference. But treatment interference is often assumed to follow a simple structure (e.g., treatment interference exists only within groups) or measured in a simplistic way (e.g., only based on the number of treated friends).
  7. Traveling across Racial Borders: TripAdvisor and the Discursive Strategies Businesses Use to Deny Racism

    Travel and leisure activities can bring many rewards, and yet for those deemed “racialized Others,” these same activities can be fraught with anxiety and tension. As in all aspects of society, racism mediates the rewards of travel and leisure. Decisions about when and how to confront racism are central in the lives of those considered racialized Others. Given a wish to de-escalate racist situations and respond later, some individuals are using online platforms to call out racism.
  8. We Ran 9 Billion Regressions: Eliminating False Positives through Computational Model Robustness

    False positive findings are a growing problem in many research literatures. We argue that excessive false positives often stem from model uncertainty. There are many plausible ways of specifying a regression model, but researchers typically report only a few preferred estimates. This raises the concern that such research reveals only a small fraction of the possible results and may easily lead to nonrobust, false positive conclusions. It is often unclear how much the results are driven by model specification and how much the results would change if a different plausible model were used.
  9. Item Location, the Interviewer–Respondent Interaction, and Responses to Battery Questions in Telephone Surveys

    Survey researchers often ask a series of attitudinal questions with a common question stem and response options, known as battery questions. Interviewers have substantial latitude in deciding how to administer these items, including whether to reread the common question stem on items after the first one or to probe respondents’ answers. Despite the ubiquity of use of these items, there is virtually no research on whether respondent and interviewer behaviors on battery questions differ over items in a battery or whether interview behaviors are associated with answers to these questions.
  10. Virtual Rituals: Community, Emotion, and Ritual in Massive Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games—A Quantitative Test and Extension of Structural Ritualization Theory

    Millions of people worldwide immerse themselves in massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). These games generate large, diverse communities that engage in rituals within the game, completing missions or quests. What role do these MMORPG rituals play in commitment to these gaming communities? To address this question, we extend structural ritualization theory to explain the impact of ritual events and emotion on commitment to community in the game World of Warcraft.