Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Joanna Schug

Committee Members

Joshua Puzey

M. Drew LaMar

Lee Kirkpatrick


The two studies within this paper look to determine the optimal social networking strategy across a combination of the social and ecological variables of Relational Mobility and Environmental Stability. Researchers Oishi and Kesebir (2012) hypothesize that societies characterized by low Relational Mobility and low Environmental Stability would choose to form narrow networks consisting of deep ties while societies characterized by high Relational Mobility and high Environmental Stability would choose to form broad networks consisting of weak ties. The Strength of Weak Ties Hypothesis argues that across all combinations of social and economic variables, social networks with broad, weak ties would be the most beneficial. To test these competing hypotheses, Study 1 looks to replicate findings from Oishi and Kesebir’s Excel-based simulation by creating an agent-based model in NetLogo while Study 2 looks to build on the model created in Study 1 by adding more dynamic interactions between agents including proportional budget exchanges and friendship levels determined by previous interactions. Results from Study 1 find support for the Strength of Weak Ties Hypothesis while results from Study 2 mirror and support results from Oishi and Kesebir’s research while supporting their hypothesis. Further research is needed to better understand the relationship between social networking strategies and socio-ecological conditions.

Keywords: relational mobility, environmental stability, social networking strategies, socio-ecological factors, strength of weak ties, computer modeling