Modelling human behaviour in social dilemmas using attributes and heuristics

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Title: Modelling human behaviour in social dilemmas using attributes and heuristics
Authors: Ebenhöh, Eva
Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Claudia Pahl-Wostl
Thesis referee: Prof. Dr. Thomas Berger
Prof. Dr. Horst Malchow
Dr. Marcela Brugnach
Abstract: A question concerning not only modellers but also practitioners is: Under what circumstances can mutual cooperation be established and maintained by a group of people facing a common pool dilemma" A step before this question of institutional influences there is need for a different way of modelling human behaviour that does not draw on the rational actor paradigm, because this kind of modelling needs to be able to integrate various deviations from this theory shown in economic experiments. We have chosen a new approach based on observations in form of laboratory and field observations of actual human behaviour. We model human decision making as using an adaptive toolbox following the notion of Gigerenzer. Humans draw on a number of simple heuristics that are meaningful in a certain situation but may be useless in another. This is incorporated into our agent-based model by having agents perceive their environment, draw on a pool of heuristics to choose an appropriate one and use that heuristic.Behavioural differences can be incorporated in two ways. First, each agent has a number of attributes that differ in values, for example there are more and less cooperative agents. The second behavioural difference lies in the way, in which heuristics are chosen. With this modelling approach we contribute to a new way of modelling human behaviour, which is simple enough to be included into morecomplex models while at the same time realistic enough to cover actual decision making processes of humans. Modellers should be able to use this approach without a need to get deep into psychological, sociological or economic theory. Stakeholders in social dilemmas, who may be confronted with such a model should understand, why an agent decides in the way it does.
Subject Keywords: Agent-based Modelling; Economic Experiments; Heuristics; Attributes; Social Dilemmas; Cooperation; Fairness; Reciprocity
Issue Date: 16-Oct-2007
Type of publication: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Appears in Collections:FB06 - E-Dissertationen

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