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Modelling the Emergence of Possession Norms Using Memes


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  • Felix Flentge


  • Daniel Polani


  • Thomas Uthmann


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    In this paper we study the emergence and the effects of a possession norm in an artificial society. We link the study of norms and the concept of memes as put forward by Richard Dawkins. Normative behaviour is modelled using memes as carriers for certain behaviours. For our simulations we extend the sugarscape model from Epstein and Axtell (1996) and give the agents the possibility to claim possession of a "plot" of land. Memes regulate the behaviour of the agents regarding the land claims of others. It turns out that the probability for the survival of the population is much higher when possession claims of others are respected. However, there exist short term disadvantages for agents respecting the possessions of others. Thus, the need for a possession norm arises. The introduction of sanctions provides a good possibility to enforce the norm as long as no costs arise for sanctioning agents. We also investigate different kinds of meme propagation and their effects on the establishment of the norm.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation in its journal Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation.

    Volume (Year): 4 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 3

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    Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2001-6-2

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    Keywords: social norms; agent-based simulation; social simulation; memetics; artificial societies; socionics;


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    Cited by:
    1. Bertacchini, Enrico & Grazzini, Jakob & Vallino. Elena, 2013. "Emergence and Evolution of Property Rights: an Agent Based Perspective," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201340, University of Turin.
    2. Francesco C. Billari & Alexia Prskawetz & Johannes F├╝rnkranz, 2002. "The cultural evolution of age-at-marriage norms," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-018, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.


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