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Changing climates of conflict: A social network experiment in 56 schools

Author(s): Paluck, Elizabeth L.; Shepherd, Hana; Aronow, Peter M.

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Abstract: Theories of human behavior suggest that individuals attend to the behavior of certain people in their community to understand what is socially normative and adjust their own behavior in response. An experiment tested these theories by randomizing an anticonflict intervention across 56 schools with 24,191 students. After comprehensively measuring every school’s social network, randomly selected seed groups of 20–32 students from randomly selected schools were assigned to an intervention that encouraged their public stance against conflict at school. Compared with control schools, disciplinary reports of student conflict at treatment schools were reduced by 30% over 1 year. The effect was stronger when the seed group contained more “social referent” students who, as network measures reveal, attract more student attention. Network analyses of peer-to-peer influence show that social referents spread perceptions of conflict as less socially normative. Note: Correction for “Changing climates of conflict: A social network experiment in 56 schools,” appears on p. 1.
Publication Date: 19-Jan-2016
Electronic Publication Date: 4-Jan-2016
Citation: Paluck, Elizabeth L., Shepherd, Hana, Aronow, Peter M. (2016). Changing climates of conflict: A social network experiment in 56 schools. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113 (3), 566 - 571. doi:10.1073/pnas.1514483113
DOI: doi:10.1073/pnas.1514483113
ISSN: 0027-8424
EISSN: 1091-6490
Pages: 566 - 571
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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