SOCIOMETRY IN THE CLASSROOM:

HOW TO DO IT



 

STEP 16

You are now ready to plot the second choice nominations. Fold the slips so that the children's second nomination is adjacent to the name (number) of the child making the choice as in FIGURE 15.

Now you must make a decision as to whether you want to give equal significance to all nominations (first, second and third nominations). Your decision will depend on what you want to know and how you plan to use the sociogram. Thus, there are two strategies: (A) no distinction is made between the three nomination ranks, and (B) you want to symbolically distinguish between the three nomination levels. Giving equal significance makes a sociogram easier to read. Distinguishing among nominations provides greater precision. For example you may want to know whether a person chosen by three others was chosen first by three others or third in each case. Examples of sociograms NOT making any distinction between nomination levels are contained in FIGURE 16.
FIGURE 16 

Sociograms distinguishing between nomination levels are contained in FIGURE 17. Both FIGURE 16 and 17 represent the same data.
 
 
FIGURE 17 

A. EQUAL SIGNIFICANCE GIVEN TO ALL 3 NOMINATIONS.

With the slip folded to cover the first choice (FIGURE 15) find the basic pattern you have plotted, the name on the right, and draw a line from that name to each of the other two names on the slip. For example, draw lines with arrows from Bud (2) to Norris (19) and from Bud (2) to John (10) as in FIGURE 16. If you find that there is already a line between the names, use arrowheads at both ends to indicate mutual choices (e.g., Dick (7) and Sol (23), Norris (19) and Nelda (20), as in FIGURE 16. BEND your lines and circumvent squares and circles which get in the way of a straight line (eg., Dick (7) and Bud (2), Donna (6) to Judy (12) in Figure 16. Sometimes a minor rearrangement of the circles and squares can avoid clutter. Sometimes clutter cannot be avoided. This is especially true of negative nomination sociograms.

B. DISTINCTION IS MADE BETWEEN NOMINATION LEVELS.

FIGURE 17 displays all three nominations. Find connecting names as in "A:" above, but draw "thin" dark lines to indicate "second" nominations. Do the same for third place nominations but use a "dashed" line. Sometimes different colors are used to distinguish between first, second and third place nominations. One problem with colors is that they will not reproduce as easily on a copying machine. For this reason alone it is recommended that colors not be used. And, color costs more money!

 Whether or not one uses technique "A" or "B," plotting a sociogram is usually easier if all second choices for all slips are done first, and then do the third nominations last. Of course, folding the slips so that the nominators and their third choices are visible will aid in the plotting.

 One additional word on the issue of second and third choices. When children are instructed to rank their nominations (eg., "Make your first choice the person whom you like the best, and your second choice the person you 'next' like best, etc."), a weighting scheme may be applied to their nominations. This technique is sometimes referred to as "Fixed Rank" nomination technique: remember "fixed" in that the children are limited to 3 choices, and "Ranked" in order of priority. Sometimes 3 points are assigned to "first-choice" nominations, 2 points for a "second-choice," and 1 point to a "third-choice". For each individual child the frequency of nominations within each rank is multiplied by the assigned weight and these are summed to yield an index of popularity. If a child receives no nominations their score would be zero (0). Many first choices would tend to yield a high index. If the children's nominations are entered as "weights" replacing the "+" and "-" signs with their respective weights into the matrix described in STEP 2, simply summing the weighted values in each column would yield each child's weighted index of popularity within the group.
 
 

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