Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13

The University Is a Friendlier Place Thanks to the Small World Phenomenon

by Gail Tom, Alice Chen, Harriet Liao, Jian Shao & Raman Singh - September 30, 2005

The small world phenomenon occurs when we meet a complete stranger, perhaps far away from home, and find that to our amazement, we know someone in common. We punctuate our surprise with the cliché, “What a small world!” This study investigated the existence of the small world phenomenon among the members of a large, diverse university community. Email was used to determine that the average number of links or intermediary persons needed for a randomly selected member of the university community to reach another member of the community was less than four. The role of the small world phenomenon in the establishment of cohesion and affinity among community members is discussed.

To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
Purchase this Article
Purchase The University Is a Friendlier Place Thanks to the Small World Phenomenon
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: September 30, 2005
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12186, Date Accessed: 1/25/2021 5:22:02 AM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review
Article Tools
Related Articles

Related Discussion
Post a Comment | Read All

About the Author
  • Gail Tom
    California State University, Sacramento
    E-mail Author
    GAIL TOM is a professor in the Department of Management, College of Business Administration at the California State University, Sacramento. Her research interests include consumer behavior, marketing, advertising and education. Recent publications include: Louie, Therese A., and Tom, Gail, “Timely Completion of Class Requirements: Effects of Student and Faculty Gender," Sex Roles, February 2005. Tom, Gail, “The Endowment—Institutional Affinity Effect” Journal of Psychology, March 2004, 138(2), 160–170.
  • Alice Chen
    California State University, Sacramento

  • Harriet Liao
    California State University, Sacramento

  • Jian Shao
    California State University, Sacramento

  • Raman Singh
    California State University, Sacramento

Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue