Models and marginals: Using survey evidence to study social networks


Journal Article (Letter)

Fischer (2009) argues that our estimates of confidant network size in the 2004 General Social Survey (GSS), and therefore the trend in confidant network size from 1985 to 2004, are implausible because they are (1) inconsistent with other data and (2) contain internal anomalies that call the data into question. In this note, we assess the evidence for a decrease in confidant network size from 1985 to 2004 in the GSS data. We conclude that any plausible modeling of the data shows a decided trend downward in confidant network size from 1985 to 2004. The features that Fischer calls anomalies are exactly the characteristics described by our models (Table 5) in the original article.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McPherson, M; Smith-Lovin, L; Brashears, ME

Published Date

  • December 1, 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 74 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 670 - 681

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0003-1224

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/000312240907400409

Citation Source

  • Scopus