Interventions in Social Networks: Impact on Mood and Network Dynamics

Advances in Complex Systems 18(3,4). DOI: 10.1142/S0219525915500162

33 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2012 Last revised: 25 Mar 2017

See all articles by Danica Vukadinovic Greetham

Danica Vukadinovic Greetham

University of Reading

Abhijit Sengupta

Surrey Business School, University of Surrey

Robert Hurling

Unilever - Unilever R&D

Joy Wilkinson

Unilever - Unilever R&D

Date Written: August 28, 2015

Abstract

Results from two studies on longitudinal friendship networks are presented, exploring the impact of a gratitude intervention on positive and negative affect dynamics in a social network. The gratitude intervention had been previously shown to increase positive affect and decrease negative affect in an individual but dynamic group effects have not been considered. In the first study the intervention was administered to the whole network. In the second study two social networks are considered and in each only a subset of individuals, initially low/high in negative affect respectively received the intervention as ‘agents of change’. Data was analyzed using stochastic actor based modelling techniques to identify resulting network changes, impact on positive and negative affect and potential contagion of mood within the group. The first study found a group level increase in positive and a decrease in negative affect. Homophily was detected with regard to positive and negative affect but no evidence of contagion was found. The network itself became more volatile along with a fall in rate of change of negative affect. Centrality measures indicated that the best broadcasters were the individuals with the least negative affect levels at the beginning of the study. In the second study, the positive and negative affect levels for the whole group depended on the initial levels of negative affect of the intervention recipients. There was evidence of positive affect contagion in the group where intervention recipients had low initial level of negative affect and contagion in negative affect for the group where recipients had initially high level of negative affect.

Keywords: Network interventions, longitudinal networks, friendship networks, Katz centrality, positive affect, negative affect

JEL Classification: C1, C9

Suggested Citation

Vukadinovic Greetham, Danica and Sengupta, Abhijit and Hurling, Robert and Wilkinson, Joy, Interventions in Social Networks: Impact on Mood and Network Dynamics (August 28, 2015). Advances in Complex Systems 18(3,4). DOI: 10.1142/S0219525915500162, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2170398 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2170398

Danica Vukadinovic Greetham (Contact Author)

University of Reading ( email )

Whiteknights
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

Abhijit Sengupta

Surrey Business School, University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH
United Kingdom

Robert Hurling

Unilever - Unilever R&D ( email )

Colworth Park
Sharnbrook, MK44 1LQ
United Kingdom

Joy Wilkinson

Unilever - Unilever R&D ( email )

Colworth Park
Sharnbrook, MK44 1LQ
United Kingdom

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