Sociology Index

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Heterophily is the opposite of homophily. Heterophily is the tendency of individuals to collect in diverse groups. Heterogamy is a marriage between two individuals who are culturally different. Heterogamy is contrasted with Homogamy. Heterophily is noticed in successful organizations. 

In his book Diffusion Of Innovations, Everett Rogers showed that heterophilious networks were better able to spread innovations. Major early work in heterophily was done by Everett Rogers in the 1960s.

In Twitter we see both heterophily and homophiliy. Given the way Twitter works, inevitably people find themselves following or being followed by those with both dissimilar and similar interests.

An homophily-heterophily Index indicates the degree to which an individual communicates with others who are either similar or dissimilar to himself on certain variables. Heterophily is defined as the degree to which pairs of individuals who interact are different in certain attributes.

Heterophily, the tendency to interact with others of different type, also exists in nature. Research on collaboration networks suggests that people are likely to form heterophilic task-related ties with those who are complementary to their own skill sets. Hunter-gatherer society life is also characterised by long-term imbalances in productivity and consumption, and by the division of labour.

Coevolutionary networks with homophily and heterophily
Daichi Kimura and Yoshinori Hayakawa, Tohoku Univ, Sendai, Japan.
We have investigated a simple coevolutionary network model incorporating three processes, changes of opinions, homophily, and heterophily. In this model, each node holds one of G opinions and changes its opinion, as in the voter model. Homophily is the tendency for connections to form between individuals of the same opinions and heterophily is the opposite effect.

If there is no heterophily, this model corresponds to the Holme and Newman model. We show that the behavior of this model without heterophily can be understood in terms of a mean field approximation. We also find that this model with heterophily exhibits topologically complicated behavior such as the small-world property.

Customer Preferences for Frontline Employee Traits: Homophily and Heterophily Effects. Sandra Streukens Tor W. Andreassen.
ABSTRACT: Although previous research has underscored the significance of the personality traits of frontline employees in employee service behaviors, knowledge about customer preferences for frontline employees personality traits is lacking. This study responds to this gap in the literature, empirically assessing customers’ preferences for frontline employees personality traits.

The main research objective is to investigate whether and how these preferences vary with the customer's own personality. The study proposes and tests a conceptual framework that reconciles two opposing theoretical perspectives, homophily and heterophily. The existing research in interpersonal psychology has only given limited support to the heterophily effect, whereas it has consistently evidenced the homophily effect.