Friday, April 3, 3:00 p.m.
Center for Social Complexity Suite
Research Hall, Third Floor

A Community Approach to Norms on Various Spatial Topologies

Peter Froncek, PhD Student
Computational Social Science
George Mason University

ABSTRACT: The different ways individuals socialize with others affect the conditions under which social norms are able to emerge. In 1986, Robert Axelrod developed the norms game, an agent-based model which sought to explain the individual-level processes which lead to the establishment or collapse of a norm. I will introduce a new computational model of norm emergence. While the model is founded on the principles of Axelrod's norms game, it also has the ability to incorporate different social network topologies, thus allowing a more realistic exploration of the diffusion of norms. The model also implements a modified set of theoretical assumptions and mechanisms which reflects the reality of normative social interactions in a more faithful fashion. In doing so, the model is able to exhibit interesting emergent behavior suggesting norm establishment even without the use of so-called meta-norms. Moreover, the model shows that the success of the norm is not directly proportional to the rate of vigilance in the population, thus illustrating the value of subversive behavior in society as its integral functional element.