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 is a replication of Abelson’s and Bernstein’s early computer simulation model of community referendum controversies which was originally published in 1963 and often cited, but seldom analysed in detail. The replication is in NetLogo, accompanied with an ODD+D protocol and class and sequence diagrams.

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