Social Preferences and the Evolution of Positive Relations in School

Flora Samu, Robert W. Krause, Károly Takács


Altruism or pro-social behavior among humans is a mystery from the perspective of rational action theory. Literature suggest that it plays a role in partner selection because it functions as signal of cooperative intent, which improves individuals’ status or their access to better partners. Pro-social acts are expected to play an important role for status (popularity) and friendship formation in the classroom. The present study investigates the relationship between social value orientation (SVO) and network dynamics in primary school. We focus on the interplay between SVO, friendship, and popularity both on the dyadic as well as on the reputational level, that is, how does SVO influence network choices of students, how do status and friendship relate to each other (taking SVO into account), and how does reputation affect SVO. Given the observed homophily between SVO and friends we are able to distinguish influence and selection processes. For this, we run a co-evolution model of social value orientation, popularity, and friendship ties in R-Siena.

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