Social Identity in Agent-based Models

Studying human behaviour in and between groups: combing the Social Identity Approach (SIA) and Social Simulation.

In this network we push the frontiers in understanding human group behaviour using social simulation. We aim to do this by

  • Initiating and maintaining a conversation about SIA in our network,

  • Providing an overview of the state of the art of SIA in agent-based models (ABMs),

  • Formalising SIA in collaboration with experts, and

  • Applying SIA & ABM in a variety of contexts.

Many challenges we face have individuals that feel as part of a group at the heart of the problem and solution. Examples are the overcoming of resource over-exploitance with collective action, social movements, engaging in protest, or online polarisation. Understanding such developments or problems requires an understanding of the social (within and between) group dynamics.

SIA is a promising approach from the social sciences that describes how people behave while being part of a group, how groups interact and how these interactions and ‘appropriate group behaviours’ can change over time.

Agent-based modelling on the other hand, is a powerful approach to address complex social science questions in ways that allow for studying over-time dynamics and causal mechanisms in a systematic and controlled manner.

We regard the combination of SIA & ABM as a promising combination that enables us to push the frontiers in understanding human (group) behaviour in its social environment.