Preference Effects on Friendship Choice: Evidence from an Online Field Experiment

Publication Abstract

PDF Yu, Siyu, and Yu Xie. 2012. "Preference Effects on Friendship Choice: Evidence from an Online Field Experiment." PSC Research Report No. 12-780. 11 2012.

Realized friendship choices result from the combined forces of not only personal preferences but also opportunity structures. Thus, it is not possible to infer preference effects from observed friendship data without invoking unrealistic assumptions about opportunity structures. In this paper, we report a study, based on an online field experiment, demonstrating the role of preference in friendship choice. Specifically, we test the influences of preferences in two dimensions: (1) identity homophily -- preference for other persons of the same or similar identity, and (2) status asymmetry -- preference for other persons of higher social status. We empirically tested these preference effects with an online field experiment in one of the largest social network service (SNS) websites in China. The results of our study confirm the preference effects on friendship choice in both of the two dimensions we tested.

Country of focus: China.

Browse | Search | Books | Next

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Geronimus writes about her research on "weathering," or the constant presence of stress hormones in the body from our ceaseless daily grind over years & decades, & how stress is actually killing us.

'Ban the Box' Laws Could Negatively Impact Minorities, according to a study by Agan and Starr

Washington Post quotes Shaefer about wealth disparity amongst older Americans.

More News

Highlights

National Study of Caregiving (NSOC) Extended

Fabian Pfeffer receives Doris Entwisle Early Career Award from American Sociological Association

More Highlights


Connect with PSC follow PSC on Twitter Like PSC on Facebook