Exponential Random Graph Models

Relationships are central to peoples’ health and well-being—humans are hardwired to be social. Through relationships, people gain access to resources, which can take the form of support, information, ideas, or advice, among others. Moreover, relationships benefit not just the individual but also the entire group of people involved (the social network). Social network approaches give researchers an avenue to explore relationships and how resources exchanged through these relationships impact individuals and groups. This entry describes one method for exploring tie formation in networks: exponential random graph models (ERGMs). ERMGs are a family of statistical models that allow researchers to examine patterns of relationships in social networks and to explore how social processes and personal attributes of actors are related to the presence or absence of ...

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