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Learning to Be Thoughtless: Social Norms and Individual Computation

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  • Joshua M. Epstein
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    Abstract

    This paper extends the literature on the evolution of norms with an agent-based model capturing a phenomenon that has been essentially ignored, namely that individual thought--or computing--is often inversely related to the strength of a social norm. Once a norm is entrenched, we confirm thoughtlessly. In this model, agents learn how to behave (what norm to adopt), but--under a strategy I term Best Reply to Adaptive Sample Evidence--they also learn how much to think about how to behave. How much they're thinking affects how they behave, which--given how others behave--affects how much they think. In short, there is feedback between the social (inter-agent) anbd internal (intra-agent) dynamics. In addition, we generalte the stylized facts regarding the spatio-temporal evolution of norms: local conformity, global diversity, and punctuated equilibria.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Santa Fe Institute in its series Working Papers with number 00-03-022.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:wop:safiwp:00-03-022

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    Related research

    Keywords: Agent-based computational economics; evolution of norms.;

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    1. David P. Feldman & James P. Crutchfield, 1997. "Measures of Statistical Complexity: Why?," Working Papers 97-07-064, Santa Fe Institute.
    2. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    3. Canning, D., 1990. "Social Equilibrium," Papers 150, Cambridge - Risk, Information & Quantity Signals.
    4. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    Cited by:
    1. Макаров В.Л., 2013. "Социальное Моделирование Набирает Обороты," Журнал Экономика и математические методы (ЭММ), Центральный Экономико-Математический Институт (ЦЭМИ), vol. 49(4), pages 5-17, октяÐ.

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