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Sociogram: Definition & Examples

Sociogram: Definition & Examples
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  • 0:00 Definition of Sociogram
  • 0:40 How Do You Create a Sociogram?
  • 1:56 Example of a Sociogram
  • 2:46 How To Use a Sociogram
  • 4:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yolanda Williams

Yolanda has taught college Psychology and Ethics, and has a doctorate of philosophy in counselor education and supervision.

A sociogram is a visual representation or map of the relationships between individuals. Learn more about sociograms from examples and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Definition of Sociogram

Suppose you are a seventh grade teacher. There are ten students in your classroom: Mike, Olivia, Connor, Tracy, Lena, Darren, James, Tiona, Lisa, and Taylor. You notice that your male and female students have not been getting along well in recent weeks. You are interested in looking at the relationships between your students to help you understand what is going on in your classroom. One method that can help you examine relationships is creating a sociogram.

A sociogram is a visual depiction of the relationships among a specific group. The purpose of a sociogram is to uncover the underlying relationships between people. A sociogram can be used to increase your understanding of group behaviors.

How Do You Create a Sociogram?

Before you begin to create a sociogram of the students in your classroom, you must first come up with a criterion, which is what you want to measure. The criterion that you use is usually some question about a specific type of social interaction. A criterion can be either positive or negative.

Positive criterions are those that ask the students to choose something that they either enjoy or would like to participate in with others. Negative criterions ask students to choose something that they would not enjoy. Negative criterions are used to discover resistance or rejection in interpersonal relationships.

Examples of positive criterions that can be used to create a sociogram are:

  • Which three classmates would you most like to go on a vacation with?
  • Which three classmates are your best friends?
  • Which three classmates do you like the most?

Examples of negative criterions that can be used to create a sociogram are:

  • Which three classmates would you least enjoy going on a vacation with?
  • Which three classmates do you like to be around the least?
  • Which three classmates would you least like to be stranded on an island with?

Once your students have all answered the question, you tabulate the results and use them to create a sociogram.

Example of a Sociogram

Suppose you decided to ask your students to choose the three classmates that are their best friends.

This list shows your results:

This list contains the three best friends that each person chose.
Class selections for three best friends

Suppose you also asked your students which three classmates they would less like to go on a vacation with. This list shows your results:

This list contains the three people that each person would least like to go on a vacation with.
Class selections for three you would least like to go on vacation with.

You create two sociograms based on this information, one for the positive criterion and one for the negative criterion. You notice that all of the students picked either Mike or Olivia as one of their closest friends, so you decide to put Mike and Olivia at the center of your sociogram.

This sociogram was created using the positive criterion.
Positive sociogram

This sociogram was created using the negative criterion.
Negative criterion sociogram

How to Use a Sociogram

You find it interesting that all of the females have chosen Mike based off a negative criterion and all of the males chose Olivia based off a negative criterion, especially since Olivia and Mike appear to be leaders among their same-sex peers. You decide to have a meeting with Mike and Olivia. You find out that Mike and Olivia used to date, but Mike dumped Olivia for a girl at another school. This caused animosity between the pair.

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