Creating subgroups using a LinkNotions sociogram

It shows who is related to whom, and what kinds of relationships they maintain: friendly, professional, antagonist, …

The sociogram allows the group leader to understand its dynamics and make better decisions. It allows to create pleasant and efficient sub-groups of work or leisure.

Example :

LinkNotions sociogram: interactivemultilingualwith contentTry by clicking, right-clicking or double-clicking people and links in the map below!

Other examples

Above is a sociogram of a group of 25 students who answered three questions.

Students were ranked according to positive or negative incoming choices.

Above the same people divided in 8 work teams.

We will show how to develop this kind of sociogram below.

CREATE your sociogram with LinkNotions software

First create your LinkNotions account : click any of the buttons at the right.

Then you have two options:

  1. Start from scratch. Here’s how.
  2. You can copy the sociogram into your LinkNotions account and edit it. Enter the sociogram. Click the green button on the top right of the diagram. A window opens. Click “Create”. A copy will be created into your account. It is opened in edit mode. You now can edit this copy. Instead of editing the sociogram above, we propose to edit the sociogram template. It contains 24 people, but you can easily add or remove. It already has the types of links and adequate tabs. We also removed the relationships that will be different in your specific case.

Create your LinkNotions account:

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Film: Create the sociogram of a group (8:05)

CREATE your own interactive diagrams from scratch

All you need is a LinkNotions account. Enter your account and click “Create workspace.”

Here’s how to create and edit a new diagram.

Here are the different diagrams (as examples) created by LinkNotions.

Create your LinkNotions account

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Below you can see two tabs currently available for each person in the diagram.

A LinkNotions sociogram is very flexible :

  • You can add, delete and edit tabs
  • You can also add , delete and modify the fields in each tab.

General

School education

The sociogram

1. General information

A sociogram is a visual representation of the relationships within a group.

The group may be big or small (group of friends, a school class, the staff of a company, members of a political party, people on a ship, the people involved with a crime).

Relationships can be of different types:

  • They can be objective: A knows B; A is family with B; A works with B; etc.
  • They may also be more subjective, for example, when revealed by answers obtained from questionnaires: A wants to work with B; A does not want to work with B; A declares feeling close to B; A expresses a positive / negative opinion about B; etc.

The sociogram is normally used to understand the dynamics in a group, to reveal compatibilities and incompatibilities. It is often used to form subgroups for work or recreation.

It can also be used to understand and possibly solve crime. In fact, by creating a diagram with:

– All the people who knew the victim (with their characteristics: age, profession, gun license, criminal record, etc.)

– And by introducing different types of relationships between them (parents, worked with, is heir to, is friend of, hates, etc.), the better we understand what has happened.

The sociogram can be used to better understand relationships within a book. You put the characters of the book in the diagram and you connect him/her with a color for each type of relationship. A teacher can also ask students to make a sociogram of a book, to quickly see if the student has understood the essence of the book.

2. The benefits of an interactive sociogram in LinkNotions

– Can be used for any size of group (up to 998 001 people).

– You can add as many types of relationships as you want.

– You can give content to both people (boxes) and relations (lines between two people): explanations, additional information such as date of birth or character traits, pictures, documents in any format, etc.

– You can export the data as an Excel file in order to analyze it.

– You click on a person and the software provides you with all the information about that person: his relationships, preferences and characteristics.

– For other benefits, please consult the list of benefits of LinkNotions located at the bottom of the LinkNotions homepage.

3. A concrete example of creating a sociogram

You will of course begin to write into the diagram the names of the people of the group. Possibly add their caracteristics: age, hobbies, …

To characterize relationships between them, you can rely on your observations or on responses to a questionnaire as described below.

Taking the example of a group of 25 people which were asked the following 3 questions:

  1. Who is the first person you would like to do group work with?
  2. Who is the second person you would like to do group work with?
  3. Who is the person with whom you would not like to do group work with?

Each person has completed a form with 3 answers. The first job is to insert the answers into LinkNotions.

This table displays all the answers to the questions.

A. Introducing the answers into LinkNotions

(Do not insert the answers into an Excel sheet because LinkNotions creates an Excel file in one click after having entered all the data).

If you do not know how to proceed, please view the attached document: Creating and analyzing a sociogram. It shows what to do in detail.

Here are the different sociograms

containing the same 25 people, but presented differently:

  1. Sociogram 1: The people are classified in two rows (see “Creating and analyzing a sociogram” 1. to 6.):
    1. in the first row people who have not been refused as well as ranked by the number of positive choices.
    2. in the second row are the people who have had one or more refusals and are classified according to the number of refusals and the number of positive choices.
  2. Sociogram 2: The 8 pairs of mutual 1st choices (the 16 individuals who have chosen each other as a first choice), then beneath are the people without a first mutual choice and classified according to the number of positive and negative choices (see Creating and analyzing a sociogram under 7.).
  3. Sociogram 3: A first proposal for 8 groups (see Creating and analyzing a sociogram under 8. and below).
  4. Sociogram 4: A second proposal for 8 groups (see below).
  5. Sociogram 5: A proposal for 6 groups (see below).

B. Read a LinkNotion’s sociogram

By clicking the top of a persons box, the software highlights all those who have chosen or refused this person (light green: 1st choice; dark green: 1st mutual choices; light blue: 2nd choice; dark blue: 2nd mutual choice, orange: denial; red: mutual refusal)

By clicking the bottom of a persons’ box, the software highlights all the people that that person chose and refused.

C. Creating sub-groups

Notice:

The creation of sub-groups such as working groups in an enterprise or in a school class cannot be realized by computer software. There are too many criteria (other than those objectively introduced into the computer) and the constraints are such that the subgroup creator who knows the group must make adequate decisions. We therefore we believe that the trainer must make the groups manually using visualization software such as LinkNotions.

Preliminary analysis of the data collected.

According to the questionnaire, we will have for a person A

–      The 1st positive choices (the number of people who have chosen person A first to work with in a group).

–      The second positive choices (the number of people who have chosen the person A as a second choice to work with in a group).

– The refusals (the number of people who said they did not want to work with person A)

We are also interested in the following cases:

–      The 1st mutual choice (A chose B first and B chose A first)

–      The mutual 2nd choice (A chose B as second and B chose A as second choice)

–      The 1st / 2nd mutual choice (A chose B first and B chose A second)

First we will create a table 1 containing “couples” that have chosen each other first, as well as the positive and negative choices received by both.

The best way to detect first mutual choices is described in 2.6.1. to 2.6.5. In short, just export the Excel file of the links. Sort it according to the links and the names of people.

To obtain the number of positive choices for each person, just click on someone and count the squares that become green or blue. You can also sort the Excel file according to the column called “destination”.

To get the number of negative choices of each person, just click on someone and count the squares that become orange or red. You can also sort the Excel file according to the column called “destination”.

In Table 1 below, see the 8 mutual first choices with the positive and negative choices obtained:

Names of people who have chosen each other Number of positive choices obtained(pers. 1 + pers. 2 = total) Number of negative choices obtained(pers. 1 + pers. 2 = total)
1 Basile/Angèle 4 + 3 = 7 0 + 0 = 0
2 Lucien/Denis 2 + 4 = 6 0 + 3 = 3
3 Agnès/Nathalie 3 + 2 = 5 0 + 0 = 0
4 Sandrine/Agathe 2 + 2 = 4 1 + 1 = 2
5 Adrien/Alice 3 + 1 = 4 0 + 0 = 0
6 Véronique/Alixe 2 + 2 = 4 1 + 1 = 2
7 Ernest/Mariette 2 + 1 = 3 0 + 0 = 0
8 Diane/René 1 + 1 = 2 0 + 1 = 1

We see that Basile and Denis are the most popular: they each get 4 positive choices. Denis, however, is controversial: he gets 3 refusals.

The “couple” that is the most popular is that of Basil / Angèle: 4 + 3 = 7 positive choices.

9 people are not yet in a group; by consulting the lines entering the top of their boxes, we see the number of positive and negative choices made by each.

Ranking them according to the number of positive choices (in descending order):

Name positive choices obtained negative choices obtained
1 Victor 4 0
2 Christiane 3 1
3 Carmen 3 3
4 Rémi 2 0
5 Florent 1 1
6 Béatrice 1 2
7 Lambert 1 10
8 Nestor 0 0
9 Martine 0 0

Ranking them according to the number of negative choices (in ascending order):

Name positive choices obtained negative choices obtained
1 Victor 4 0
2 Rémi 2 0
3 Martine 0 0
4 Nestor 0 0
5 Christiane 3 1
6 Florent 1 1
7 Béatrice 1 2
8 Carmen 3 3
9 Lambert 1 10

First example for creating 8 groups:

Here is the starting sociogram with 8 pairs of 1st mutual choices.

Suppose we do not want to separate the mutual 1st choices and create 8 groups with the eight 1st mutual choices as the base.

    1. Let’s start with Lambert. He has a positive choice and ten refusals.
      1. By clicking the bottom of Lambert’s box, we see that he expressed a first choice for Victor (who is not yet in a group) and one for Basile. In addition, he does not want to work with Denis.
      2. By clicking above, we see that he received one positive choice (Agatha) and 10 refusals, including that of Angela (who is with Basile). Finally there remains only the group with Sandrine / Agathe with which he expressed no refusal.
      3. We will put him in this group.
    2. Carmen and Florent refuse each other. We will put them in two different groups
    3. Take the case of Florent.
      1. He expressed a positive first choice for Victor (who is not yet in a group).
      2. He expressed a second choice for Denis who is in a group with Lucien.
      3. Victor has expressed a first choice for Denis and a second choice for Florent. We propose to put Florent and Victor in the group of Denis and Lucien.
    4. Carmen
      1. She has a 1st / 2nd choice with Angela. Let’s put her in her group.
    5. Christiane
      1. She was chosen by Agnes and Nathalie. In addition she chose Agnes.
      2. We will put her with Agnes and Nathalie.
    6. Nestor
      1. He chose Adrien.
      2. We will place the group of Adrian.
    7. Beatrice
      1. She was chosen by Veronica.
      2. Let’s put her in her group.
    8. Rémi
      1. He was selected by Ernest.
      2. Let’s put him in his group.
    9. Martine
      1. She was not selected.
      2. The people she has chosen are already in a group.
      3. The group of Diana and René lack a person; Martine will be placed in this group.

Here is the sociogram with 8 groups:

Conclusion:

We get 7 groups of 3 and 1 group of 4 people (25 people).

The groups are not perfect. Especially:

  • Martine is in a group where no one has chosen her and where she chose nobody.
  • Lambert, Rémi and Beatrice are in a group where they haven’t chosen anybody.
  • Group 5 has only 2 positive choices within the group and no additional positive choices from other people. The members of that group are unpopular.

The groups are varied:

  • Between 2 and 6 internal positive choices
  • Between 2 and 11 positive choices on people of that group
  • Between 0 and 12 negative choices on people of that group.

What is very favorable: no person is in a group where someone expressed a refusal towards them.

The coherence of the groups is variable:

number of people number of positive choices within the group positive choices to people of that group negative choices to people of that group
group 1 3 3 4 0
group 2 3 5 8 1
group 3 4 6 11 4
group 4 3 3 5 0
group 5 3 2 2 1
group 6 3 3 5 12
group 7 3 3 5 4
group 8 3 4 10 3
total 25 29

2nd example of creating 8 groups:

Here is the starting sociogram with 8 pairs of first mutual choices.

This time, we will also leave the first mutual choices together, but instead of taking them as a basis, we will gather 2, for a group of 4 with two first mutual choices.

  1. Let’s start with Lambert again.
    1. He chose Victor.
    2. Victor and Florent have a mutual 1st / 2nd choice.
    3. We form a group with Lambert, Victor and Florent.
  2. We note that the only duos to have mutual positive choices with each other are Basil / Angèle and Lucien / Denis. Indeed, Lucien expressed himself positively towards Angela and Basil expressed himself positively towards Denis.
  3. Christiane joined the group of Agnes and Nathalie. Both chose Christiane and Christiane chose Agnes.
  4. Nestor goes to Group 1. He chose Adrien.
  5. From now on it gets complicated:
    1. We would like to place Rémi in the group of Veronica and Alixe because he chose both. However, in this case the groups 4 and 7 become impossible for Beatrice (Mariette refuses Beatrice and Remi).
    2. Let’s place Rémi in Group 4. In this group it was Ernest who chose him.
  6. Let Beatrice go to the group 7, as Véronique chose Beatrice.
  7. Carmen, chosen by Diane can go in Group 5.
  8. Martine remains. The only available group is that of Agathe and Sandrine. Martine’s case is special:
    1. No one has chosen her.
    2. The people she has chosen are either in a group of 4 (Lucien group 3) or in a group containing a person who rejected her (group 8).
number of people number of positive choices within the group positive choices on people of that group negative choices on people of that group
group 1 3 3 4 0
group 2 3 5 8 1
group 3 4 6 13 3
group 4 3 3 5 0
group 5 3 3 5 4
group 6 3 2 4 2
group 7 3 2 5 4
group 8 3 3 6 11 (10 for Lambert)
total 25 27

Here is the sociogram with 8 groups (2nd attempt).

Conclusion:

In the second attempt, we have a total of 27 positive selections within the groups. Therefore two less than in the previous case.

Groups are varied both with regard to their internal consistency (between 2 and 6 internal positive choices) and with respect to the popularity of their members (4 to 13 positive choices; negative choices 0 to 11).

Carmen, Remy, Beatrice and Martine are in a group where they have nobody.

The advantages are:

  • No person is in a group where someone expressed a refusal towards them

Other than Martine, there is no person in a group that nobody has chosen or that hasn’t chosen anyone. This is better than in the first attempt.

Example of creating 6 groups:

Here the starting sociogram with 8 pairs of 1st mutual choices.

  1. There are a total of 25 people. So we will have 5 groups of 4 and 1 group of 5 people.
  2. We will not separate the 8 pairs of 1st mutual choices.
  3. Notice that we also have three 1st / 2nd mutual choices. To see them, click in the tool bar on “All links” and choose “1er /2e choix mutuels”. Now you only see this kind of choice. Here are these “couples”:
    1. Victor / Florent
    2. Agnes / Christiane
    3. Carmen / Angèle
  4. Let’s start by putting together two mutual first choices:
    1. Lucien chose Angela. Basile has chosen Denis.
    2. Let’s put these 4 in Group 3.
  5. As Carmen and Angela are a 1st / 2nd choice couple, we will add Carmen to the first group. This group will consist of 5 people. The other groups will therefore each have 4 people. Carmen doesn’t risks being in the same group as Florent for who she has a mutual refusal.
  6. Christiane and Agnes are a 1st / 2nd choice. Christiane will be in group 2.
  7. Victor and Florent form another 1st / 2nd choice couple. As Alice chose Victor, we will put him with Florent in group 1.
  8. Next is Lambert, because for him there only remains one group in which there is nobody who rejects him. He will go into group 8. In this group Agathe selected him.
  9. The couple of first mutual choice Ernest and Mariette will be in Group 5.
  10. This will allows Beatrice to be placed in Group 4 where Veronica is who chose her.
  11. Nestor will also join this group 4 because he is incompatible with Sandrine of Group 6.
  12. Remain Remi and Martine.
  13. Martine is incompatible with group 6 because of Lambert. We place her in Group 2.
  14. There remains a place for Rémi in group 6.

Here is the sociogram with 6 groups:

Conclusion:

  • Martine, Nestor and Beatrice are in groups where they have chosen nobody and where nobody has chosen them.
  • The consistency of the groups vary :
number of people number of positive choices within the group positive choices on people of that group negative choices on people of that group
group 1 4 5 9 1
group 2 4 5 8 1
group 3 5 7 16 6
group 4 4 2 5 4
group 5 4 4 5 1
group 6 4 3 7 12 (dont 10 sur Lambert)
total 26 29
  • Group 4 is by far the weakest. It contains only two inner positive choices and 4 in all. In addition, it is composed of people who have been chosen very little.
  • Group 3 containing 5 people is by far the strongest with a popularity of 16 and 7 interior choices.
  • Group 6 is a relatively popular group, but with few interior choices.
  • No group is composed of people with a refusal from within the same group.
  • We have made choices. It is evident that other choices would have formed other groups.
  • He who forms the groups and knows the people has other information he can use to make the most appropriate decisions.