Homophily Lens vs Rapport Lens
Homophily is the tendency for people to associate disproportionately with others who are perceived to be similar. The term is used to explain phenomena in group socialization and agreement. This study was designed using the Perceived Homophily Measure (PHM) as a metric for measuring rapport in leadership socialization. Matching and mirroring (MM), a rapport-building tactic was tested quantitatively for its relationship to PHM. The study was grounded in the social identity theory, the social presence theory, the leader-member exchange theory, and the similarity-attraction paradigm. The quasi-experiment was conducted at Workforce Solutions North Texas in Wichita Falls using 2 groups. Participants in the test group, composed of employees and clients, conversed with an MM-coached candidate. Participants in the control group, composed of general public participants, conversed with an uncoached candidate from the general public. A post-test using the attitude homophily scale produced PHM as the dependent variable with MM as the independent treatment variable. Kinect® sensors detected joint-angle synchrony using specialized software to differentiate between the coached candidate and the uncoached candidate. It was assumed that the coached candidate would likely produce greater instances of synchrony. After adjusting for covariates of age, gender, ethnicity, height, eye-glasses, hobbies, and professions, no statistically significant difference was found between groups on PHM levels. It was determined that the use of two candidates weakened the study. Thus, further research was needed to determine the relationship between MM and PHM. Nevertheless, considering PHM as a metric for rapport inception represented a significant breakthrough in socialization metrics.
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