IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Modelling the Emergence of Possession Norms Using Memes




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.

Suggested Citation

  • Felix Flentge & Daniel Polani & Thomas Uthmann, 2001. "Modelling the Emergence of Possession Norms Using Memes," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 4(4), pages 1-3.
  • Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2001-6-2

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Luis R. Izquierdo & Segismundo S. Izquierdo & José Manuel Galán & José Ignacio Santos, 2009. "Techniques to Understand Computer Simulations: Markov Chain Analysis," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 12(1), pages 1-6.
    2. Francesco C. Billari & Alexia Prskawetz & Johannes Fürnkranz, 2002. "The cultural evolution of age-at-marriage norms," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-018, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. 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.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2001-6-2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Flaminio Squazzoni). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.