Homophily is the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others (Murase,2019). I expect that there is a measure of homophily level, called homophily indices.

Group Polarization is that people tend to change their idea due to the normative influence (social comparison interpretation), which is considered an echo chamber. This is my conclusion when reading the definition of "group polarization theory" and work of (Cinelli,2021). Is it a correct conclusion?

According to group polarization theory, an echo chamber can act as a mechanism to reinforce an existing opinion within a group and, as a result, move the entire group toward more extreme positions. Echo chambers have been shown to exist in various forms of online media such as blogs, forums, and social media sites.

I am wondering is there any relationship between homophily index and group polarization level? In specific, the relationship between homophily and normative influence Is there any reference for that?


1 Answer 1


Although social categorization studies like Sherif’s (1954) Robber’s Cave study demonstrate that “the mere act of categorization” (Bigler et al. 1997, p.530) into groups is enough to manipulate intergroup processes, results corresponding with Bigler’s (1997) control group separating students based on novel color categories shows otherwise. That is, only children in the gender condition reported an increase in gender stereotyping, while children assigned to irrelevant colored groups (divided by color) did not show a stereotyped view corresponding to their color team. While Piaget’s intergroup theory suggests that both the gender and control condition should have showed an in-group allegiance to their team, alternatively, Bem (1983) posits that the perceptual salience of groups by themselves is not enough. Rather, Bem (1983) argues that the “functional use of a particular category by social institutions” is a necessary piece in the process of intergroup attitudes.

You propose two approaches to social categorization (inter-group processes), homophily and group polarization theory. Homophily proposes that individuals associate with others based on similarity (as demonstrated in the Robber's Cave study), while group polarization adds another layer to intergroup processes, its social function (as demonstrated in the latter references I include above). Likewise, normative influence has a social function.


Bigler, R. S., Jones, L. C., & Lobliner, D. B. (1997). Social categorization and the formation of intergroup attitudes in children. Child development, 68(3), 530-543.

Bigler, R. S. (1997). Conceptual and Methodological Issues in the Measurement Of Children’s Sex Typing. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21(1), 53–69. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.1997.tb00100.x

Bem, S. L. (1983). Gender Schema Theory and Its Implications for Child Development: Raising Gender-Aschematic Children in a Gender-Schematic Society. Signs, 8(4), 598–616. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3173685

Sherif, M. (1954). Experimental study of positive and negative intergroup attitudes between experimentally produced groups: robbers cave study. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma.


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