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Conference Workshop

An Introduction to Necessary Condition Analysis for Social Network Research


June 12, 2020 from 14:00 to 15:30

This workshop will provide an introduction to Necessary Condition Analysis (NCA). NCA can be used to test whether a condition (X) is necessary but not sufficient for an outcome (Y). It provides a new perspective on existing phenomena and is complementary to the regression-based modeling that we usually apply. When a condition is necessary for an outcome, the outcome does not exist without the condition. The condition serves as a “bottleneck”, “critical factor”, or “constraint”. This resonates with the social networks literature in which the limitations of certain relationships or network positions are often considered. NCA allows us to quantify those limitations and to answer questions like “is a brokerage position necessary for creativity?”, “is a closed network position necessary for trust?”, and “are positive ties necessary for a person’s wellbeing?”. This interactive workshop will teach participants the logic and importance of necessary conditions, illustrated with examples form different fields. We will also compare NCA to other methods, such as regression analysis. The workshop will help participants to become the first users of NCA in their field, with hands-on instructions about how to build necessity theories, and how to analyze data for testing such theories using the NCA R software.

You can sign up for the workshop on the INSNA website.