Computational models of human collective behavior offer promise in providing quantitative and empirically verifiable accounts of how individual decisions lead to the emergence of group-level organizations. Agent-based models (ABMs) describe interactions among individual agents and their environment, and provide a process-oriented alternative to descriptive mathematical models. Recent ABMs provide compelling accounts of group pattern formation, contagion and cooperation, and can be used to predict, manipulate and improve upon collective behavior. ABMs overcome an assumption that underlies much of cognitive science - that the individual is the crucial unit of cognition. The alternative advocated here is that individuals participate in collective organizations that they might not understand or even perceive, and that these organizations affect and are affected by individual behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience