Agent based modelling in social psychology

Carslaw, Gregory (2013). Agent based modelling in social psychology. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Agent based modelling is a tool that has been successful in developing theories in a wide range of fields, but its application to social psychology is still in its infancy. This body of work applies the agent based modelling method to areas of social psychology including contact theory, group dynamics, altruistic behaviour and social identity theory. In each of these areas an agent based model is introduced that furthers the relevant theories and taken together these models demonstrate the effectiveness of some of the techniques outlined in existing research as well as producing a unique recommendation for the applications of agent based modelling in social psychology. In the fourth and fifth chapters three existing agent based models are extended in line with multiple identity theory and doing so produces novel results that improve upon the explanations of the original models. Therefore it is concluded that for agent based modelling in social psychology it is important to always consider the impact of multiple identities upon our modelling efforts rather than always simulating the minimum group identities necessary to test a hypothesis.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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