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Sociograms in NVivo can assist you in analyzing social networks by displaying them as a diagram—helping you to visualize connections. Use sociograms to perform social network analysis on a population of cases and their relationships, or on a Twitter dataset created from NCapture import.

Sociograms are a graphic representation of the social links between people or other entities.

Example of a simple sociogram.

1 Vertex—represents a person, group or entity. In NVivo, vertices are cases (or Twitter users in a Twitter sociogram).

2 Edge—represents a connection or interaction between vertices. In NVivo, edges are relationships (or tweets and mentions in a Twitter sociogram). Edges can have arrow heads indicating the direction of the relationship.

What can I use sociograms for?

Use sociograms to explore networks and answer questions about social interdependence, for example:

  • Identify opinion leaders or influential people in communities
  • Reveal vulnerable populations
  • Study the flow of information within distinct communities

Types of sociograms

Use a When you want to Example How to

Egocentric sociogram

See all the cases connected to one particular case (the ego).

Egocentric sociogram.

  1. In List View, select a case.
  2. On the Explore tab, in the Social Network Analysis group, click Egocentric Sociogram.

Network sociogram

Visualize a group of cases to see how they are connected. This type of sociogram can include isolated cases.

Network sociogram.

  1. On the Explore tab, in the Social Network Analysis group, click Network Sociogram.
  2. Choose the cases you want to include in the sociogram

Twitter sociogram

See the network of your Twitter users, and how they are connected by retweets and mentions.

Twitter sociogram.

Use NCapture to capture a Twitter dataset, then view the Twitter Sociogram tab in Detail View.

Types of edges

The direction of an edge in a sociogram has meaning.

  • Undirected edges are associative relationships—they have no directionality (for example, "has met" )
  • Directed edges are one way relationships (for example, "is a member of", "Twitter @mention" )
  • Symmetrical edges link both ways  ("Facebook friends with")

NVivo sociograms are multiplex networks, meaning that different kinds of connections (edges) are shown on the one network. For example, Twitter sociograms show mentions and retweets; network sociograms show all types of relationships.

Understanding metrics

Vertex metrics are used to calculate different measures of influence such as degree, betweenness and closeness to answer questions like:

  • How many people can this person reach directly?
  • Which person is most likely to have the most information flowing through them?
  • How fast can this person reach everyone in the network?

Network metrics like density and reciprocity are used to calculate the level of connectedness for a network.

You can view the scores of the centrality measures underlying the connections displayed in a sociogram in grid format.