The formation & dynamics of we-ness

We had our amazing online-kickoff meeting of our social identity in agent-based models (SIAM) network (4-5 June 2020). It is the start of a 2.5 year journey with social simulators and psychologists to together formalise the social identity approach for agent-based models. The focus of the workshop was to get to know each other, and to form a common ground (knowledge & language) around the social identity approach and agent-based modelling.

In a sense, we want to formalise what we tried to do together these days: form a sense of we-ness. A psychological group, in which we have a common goal and share the view that we all are in this for the same reason. With a mix of relationally and cognitively stimulating activities a structure was set to get to know each other and form a common language and knowledge base on agent-based modelling, the social identity approach and the combination of both.

Meeting online didn’t stop us from laughing nor discussing. Quite remarkable actually…

We thus actually started to muddle through together, from discussion to discussion with questions leading to more questions. We were open to not knowing the answer, but kept on finding stepping stones to stand on and make headway. We agreed to start our further journey by working on a review of SIA in ABMs, and in that process continue our discussion around the core SIA concepts and processes.

While we are longing for a face2face meeting, the level of fun, debate and activity during our online meetings are a great alternative. We are already looking forward to meeting everyone in fall again!

The group, but missing Tobias
funny pic (Tobias still missing)

The programme

Relevant literature

Reicher, S. D., Spears, R., & Haslam, S. A. (2010). The social identity approach in social psychology. In M. S. Wetherell & C. T. Mohanty (Eds.), Sage identities handbook (pp. 45–62). London, UK: Sage.

  • Relevant for: Attending the workshop. Provides a base overview of SIA allowing for us to have a common understanding and word to start engaging with SIA together.

Smaldino, P., Pickett, C., Sherman, J. & Schank, J. (2012). An Agent-Based Model of Social Identity Dynamics. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 15 (4) 7. <>. doi: 10.18564/jasss.2030

  • Relevant for: wanting a concrete example of a SIA ABM, can serve as an object for discussion of what we need, miss, want.

Constantino, Schlüter, Weber, Wijermans (In Prep). Complex behavior in context: Towards a comprehensive selection and taxonomy of behavioral theories for socio-ecological systems research.

  • Relevant for: having a common language about SIA and the social-cognitive processes SIA specifies. The manuscript details a Modelling Human Behaviour framework that we will present and use during the workshop.

Conte, R., & Paolucci, M. (2014). On agent-based modeling and computational social science. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1–9.

  • Relevant when: you want to have base reading on agent-based modelling for social science.