sociometry

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sociometry

a widely used method of ‘measurement’ of social attractiveness within groups, invented by the Austrian-born US psychologist and psychiatrist Jacob MORENO. The technique involves the administration of a questionnaire in which respondents rank order the ‘attractiveness’ and ‘unattractiveness’ of fellow group members as coparticipants or colleagues, either generally or in particular activities. The results of these interpersonal choices are then plotted on a diagram, termed a sociogram, the configuration revealing sociometric 'stars’ and ‘rejectees’. and cliques of mutual positive appraisal and social ‘isolates’.

Sociometry

 

the branch of social psychology that studies interpersonal relationships, devoting primary attention to their quantitative measurement.

The term “sociometry” was first used in the 19th century in connection with attempts to apply mathematical methods to the study of social facts. In the 20th century microsociologists, including G. Gurvitch, attempted to explain social phenomena by investigating the personal relationships between individuals. J. Moreno redefined the term “sociometry,” narrowing its meaning to the study of the relationships between individuals. He included reactionary Utopian arguments as well as experimental methods in sociometry.

With the development of social psychology the term “sociometry” has acquired a more specific meaning, denoting a group of methods used to investigate interpersonal relationships. A so-ciometric test establishes the preference, or attitude, expressed by an individual concerning interaction with other individuals in a given situation. Such a test makes it possible to describe an individual’s position within a group in terms of the individual’s own perception of it, to compare this with the reactions of other group members, and to express the interrelationships within comparable groups by formal methods, including mathematical and graphic methods.

Psychodrama and sociodrama reproduce the personal relationships that exist between individuals under study in a dramatized situation. They are used both diagnostically and therapeutically. Sociometric methods are used extensively for therapeutic purposes and in studying small groups with the aim of improving management.

REFERENCES

Moreno, J. L. Sotsiomelriia. Moscow, 1958. (Translated from German.)
Kolominskii, la. L. Psikhologiia lichnykh vzaimootnoshenii v dets-kom kollektive. Minsk, 1969.
Kuz’min, E. S. Osnovy sotsial’noipsikhologii. Leningrad, 1967.
Lektsii po metodike konkretnykh sotsial’nykh issledovanii. Moscow, 1972.
Volkov, I. P. Sotsiometricheskie metody v sotsial’no-psikhologiches-kikh issledovaniiakh. Leningrad, 1970.
Lindzey, G., and D. Byrne. “Measurement of Social Choice and Interpersonal Attractiveness.” In The Handbook of Social Psychology, vol. 2. Reading, Mass., 1968.
Northway, M. L. A Primer of Sociometry. Toronto, 1967.

V. B. OLS’HANSKII

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