Imaginary worlds: Using visual network scales to capture perceptions of social networks

Ajay Mehra, Stephen P. Borgatti, Scott Soltis, Theresa Floyd, Daniel S. Halgin, Brandon Ofem, Virginie Lopez-Kidwell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Social networks are not just patterns of interaction and sentiment in the real world; they are also cognitive (re)constructions of social relations, some real, some imagined. Focusing on networks as mental entities, our essay describes a new method that relies on stylized network images to gather quantitative data on how people "see" specific aspects of their social worlds. We discuss the logic of our approach, present several examples of "visual network scales," discuss some preliminary findings, and identify some of the problems and prospects in this nascent line of work on the phenomenology of social networks. Keywords: Cognition; cognitive social networks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Perspectives on Organizational Social Networks
PublisherJAI Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9781783507511
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
ISSN (Print)0733-558X


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