CoMSES Net Discourse Forums

Modelling Social Identity - a special issue

If you are modelling aspects of the social Identity approach (SIA) using ABM then this special issue may be something for you!

Over the years more and more modellers are (interested in) using aspects of the SIA to improve social and collective behavioral realism (see for example https://www.siam-network.online/ ). At the same time, many modellers face the challenge of modelling human behaviour and decision making and/or making use of social/behavioural theory. A key challenge for designing an ABM is to represent human behaviour in a way that is psychologically plausible, i.e., how the relevant aspects of behaviour can be formalized using computer code. This choice of how to represent human behaviour in a model is critical, as subtly different assumptions here might result in very different model results (Dressler 2018, Wijermans 2020). The challenge we have when formalising human decision making and behaviour in combination with the challenge to make use of social/behavioural theory is taken on for a high potential family of theories (SIA) in developing context sensitive decision making.

The Social Identity approach (SIA) reflects a family of theories that explain human behaviour and decision making in its social context– representing how people might decide what to do within a specific context and social-physical situation. SIA proposes that people derive a significant part of their self-concept from the social groups to which they belong (Tajfel, 1978; Tajfel & Turner, 1979; Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher & Wetherell, 1987). SIA posits that social identification with others, and the perception of people as fellow group members or outsiders, is a fundamental basis for collective behaviour, and investigates how and when individuals come to feel, think and act as group members rather than as unique individuals.

We look for articles for a special issue in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (JASSS) targeting agent-based social simulations that use SIA. With this special issue we target to showcase a set of ABMs that actually formalise aspects of SIA. Our purpose is threefold:
to make SIA accessible for modellers as a relevant psychology-based option to represent within and between group dynamics by describing how and when individuals come to feel, think and act as group members;
to enable learning from/connecting to the different formalisation interpretations, and
to create awareness of the relevance of SIA for social simulation.

We would like to invite you or anyone you know working with SIA and ABM to contribute to this special issue. We are looking for original work that makes a serious attempt to formalize SIA and integrate it into agent-based models. Justification for all SIA points & formalisations chosen and projects from interdisciplinary teams are specifically welcome. To ensure a coherent set of high quality papers we plan an in-between author workshop so authors and papers can profit from the expertise of all.

Timeline:
15 Oct 2021: Abstract submission
29 Oct 2021: Notification and feedback to authors
15 Feb 2022: Full paper submission

The abstract should be 500 words and entail details on the stage of your paper project. Possible topics include but are not limited to:
SIA-ABMs of various application fields. We aim at papers that have SIA at their core and speak to an ABM community. The models can link to empirical data, be explorative or theoretical.
Projects that extend existing models with SIA.
Projects that implement different SIA formalizations and their effects in ABM.

Please submit your abstracts and ask any questions to [email protected]

Best wishes
The editorial team: Martin Neumann, Rocco Paolillo, Geeske Scholz, Anne Templeton, Nanda Wijermans