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Emergent networks, locus of control and the pursuit of social capital


In this paper we examine the relationship between emergent social network characteristics in a computer-supported collaborative learning course and locus of control. An emergent communication network of engineering students that took place in a distributed distance learning environment was examined. Three measures of an actor’s social network, density, brokerage, and reach, and participants’ locus of control, internal vs. external, were assessed. The data suggest that, relative to participants with external locus of control, participants with internal locus of control decreased their network density over time but increased their brokerage and reach. The results are discussed in the context of instrumental action, through which participants are assumed to develop personal networks in pursuit of maximizing potential social capital.

J.T. Hancock
L. Curry
S. Goorha
M.T. Woodworth
Proceedings, Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 26, 534-540. Mahwah, NJ: LEA
Publication Date
November 10, 2004