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Brewer, D. D. (1997). No associative biases in the first name cued recall procedure for eliciting personal networks. Social Networks, 19, 345-353.  Reprinted with permission from Elsevier.

abstract      pdf of full article

One thousand five hundred twenty-five respondents from a representative sample of adult residents of the state of Florida (USA) participated in a telephone survey on personal networks (McCarty et al., 1995).  McCarty et al. (1995) elicited samples of alters from respondents' personal networks with a first name cued recall interview procedure.  Thispaper reports an assessment of associative biases involved with this technique in a further evaluation of the representativeness of the alter samples elicited with this method.  Associative biases would be present if successively recalled alters are more likely to know each other or belong to the same social context (e.g., work, family, school) than alters not recalled successively.  Such biases, if present, could influence the characteristics, and thus the representativeness, of the set of alters elicited, such as the density of ties.  Analyses indicate that there are no associative biases in the first name cued recall procedure.  Future research should investigate the possibility of associative biases in other methods for eliciting personal networks.

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