ERIC Number: ED252158
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Predicting Prominence Within a Medical School Class: A Social Network Analysis.
West, Russell F.; And Others
Characteristics that might help predict student prominence within a medical school class were studied. The prominent student is one who is highly visible and extensively involved in key relationships with other students. This prominence is expected to provide the student with greater access to information and resources held by classmates. A total of 48 first-year students enrolled in a medical neurobiology course completed a Survey of Social Networks, and indicated the amount of time they had spent, per week, studying with each of their peer contacts. Results indicate that prestigious students were those who were actively sought out by peers for advice and other support. These individuals might be thought of as powerful figures within the medical school class. The students who were most "powerful" within the network tended to be more introverted and more academically successful. Highly central figures were characterized by extensive direct connections to and from other class members, thus making them both seekers of information and objects of information searches. The picture of the central student is one of a more gregarious, interactive person than the highly prestigious member. Class members with the highest degree of connectivity had less background hours in the sciences and admitted to being very anxious about their medical school experience. (SW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midsouth Educational Research Association (13th, New Orleans, LA, November 14-16, 1984).