Computational Model Library

We consider scientific communities where each scientist employs one of two characteristic methods: an “adequate” method (A) and a “superior” method (S). The quality of methodology is relevant to the epistemic products of these scientists, and generate credit for their users. Higher-credit methods tend to be imitated, allowing to explore whether communities will adopt one method or the other. We use the model to examine the effects of (1) bias for existing methods, (2) competence to assess relative value of competing methods, and (3) two forms of interdisciplinarity: (a) the tendency for members of a scientific community to receive meaningful credit assignment from those outside their community, and (b) the tendency to consider new methods used outside their community. The model can be used to show how interdisciplinarity can overcome the effects of bias and incompetence for the spread of superior methods.

This model is designed to address the following research question: How does the amount and topology of intergroup cultural transmission modulate the effect of local group extinction on selectively neutral cultural diversity in a geographically structured population? The experimental design varies group extinction rate, the amount of intergroup cultural transmission, and the topology of intergroup cultural transmission while measuring the effects of local group extinction on long-term cultural change and regional cultural differentiation in a constant-size, spatially structured population. The results show that for most of the intergroup social network topologies tested here, increasing the amount of intergroup cultural transmission (similar to increasing gene flow in a genetic model) erases the negative effect of local group extinction on selectively neutral cultural diversity. The stochastic (i.e., preference attachment) network seems to stand out as an exception.

This version of the accumulated copying error (ACE) model is designed to address the following research question: how does finite population size (N) affect the coefficient of variation (CV) of a continuous cultural trait under the assumptions that the only source of copying error is visual perception error and that the continuous trait can take any positive value (i.e., it has no upper bound)? The model allows one to address this question while assuming the continuous trait is transmitted via vertical transmission, unbiased transmission, prestige biased transmission, mean conformist transmission, or median conformist transmission. By varying the parameter, p, one can also investigate the effect of population size under a mix of vertical and non-vertical transmission, whereby on average (1-p)N individuals learn via vertical transmission and pN individuals learn via either unbiased transmission, prestige biased transmission, mean conformist transmission, or median conformist transmission.

This NetLogo model illustrates the cultural evolution of pro-environmental behaviour patterns. It illustrates how collective behaviour patterns evolve from interactions between agents and agents (in a social network) as well as agents and the affordances (action opportunities provided by the environment) within a niche. More specifically, the cultural evolution of behaviour patterns is understood in this model as a product of:

  1. The landscape of affordances provided by the material environment,
  2. Individual learning and habituation,
  3. Social learning and network structure,
  4. Personal states (such as habits and attitudes), and

The Regional Security Game is a iterated public goods game with punishement based on based on life sciences work by Boyd et al. (2003 ) and Hintze & Adami (2015 ), with modifications appropriate for an international relations setting. The game models a closed regional system in which states compete over the distribution of common security benefits. Drawing on recent work applying cultural evolutionary paradigms in the social sciences, states learn through imitation of successful strategies rather than making instrumentally rational choices. The model includes the option to fit empirical data to the model, with two case studies included: Europe in 1933 on the verge of war and south-east Asia in 2013.

EthnoCultural Tag model (ECT)

David Hales Bruce Edmonds | Published Fri Oct 16 13:26:37 2015 | Last modified Wed May 9 10:04:58 2018

Captures interplay between fixed ethnic markers and culturally evolved tags in the evolution of cooperation and ethnocentrism. Agents evolve cultural tags, behavioural game strategies and in-group definitions. Ethnic markers are fixed.

This model illustrates how the effective population size and the rate of change in mean skill level of a cultural trait are affected by the presence of natural selection and/or the cultural transmission mechanism by which it is passed.

This spatially explicit agent-based model addresses how effective foraging radius (r_e) affects the effective size–and thus the equilibrium cultural diversity–of a structured population composed of central-place foraging groups.

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