Understanding the Influential People and Social Structures Shaping Compliance


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Journal of Social Structure

International Network for Social Network Analysis

Subject: Social Sciences


eISSN: 1529-1227





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VOLUME 16 , ISSUE 1 (December 2015) > List of articles

Understanding the Influential People and Social Structures Shaping Compliance

Rachel A. Smith * / Edward L. Fink

Keywords : Compliance, social networks, network preferences, opinion leadership, diffusion

Citation Information : Journal of Social Structure. Volume 16, Issue 1, Pages 1-15, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/joss-2019-014

License : (CC BY-NC 4.0)

Published Online: 13-August-2019



This study integrated efforts to identify influential people and to extend theories of structural predictors of compliance. Adults (N = 195) were shown a sociogram of 11 people who were connected by friendships. Participants were asked to imagine themselves in this group, identify a position for themselves, select another member for an interaction, and predict their likelihood of complying with the member’s request. Connectors (those wanting to link others) identified with more central positions for themselves and selected more central interaction partners. Agents with greater persuasive impact were more successful in gaining compliance from participants; for connectors, targets’ supportive impact also reduced their likelihood of compliance. Findings have implications for diffusion efforts that depend on interpersonal compliance, and for theories of social influence.

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