Skip to main content

Please enter a keyword and click the arrow to search the site

Social networks and cognition


Annual Review of Sociology


Organisational Behaviour

Authors / Editors

Smith E B;Brands R A;Brashears M;Kleinbaum A M

Publication Year



Social network analysis, now often thought of simply as “network science,” has penetrated nearly every scientific and many scholarly fields, and has become an indispensable resource. Yet, social networks are special by virtue of being specifically social, and our growing understanding of the brain is affecting our understanding of how social networks form, mature, and are exploited by their members. In this review we discuss the expanding research on how the brain manages social information, how this information is heuristically processed, and how network cognitions are impacted by situation and circumstance. In the process, we argue that the cognitive turn in social networks exemplifies the modern conception of the brain as fundamentally reprogrammable by experience and circumstance. Far from social networks being dependent upon the brain, we anticipate a modern view in which cognition and social networks co-constitute each other.

Available on ECCH


Select up to 4 programmes to compare

Select one more to compare
subscribe_image_desktop 5949B9BFE33243D782D1C7A17E3345D0

Sign up to receive our latest news and business thinking direct to your inbox


Sign up to receive our latest course information and business thinking

Leave your details above if you would like to receive emails containing the latest thought leadership, invitations to events and news about courses that could enhance your career. If you would prefer not to receive our emails, you can still access the case study by clicking the button below. You can opt-out of receiving our emails at any time by visiting: or by unsubscribing through the link provided in our emails. View our Privacy Policy for more information on your rights.