The prevalence of COVID-19 is shaped by behavioral responses to recommendations and warnings. Available information on the disease determines the population’s perception of danger and thus its behavior; this information changes dynamically, and different sources may report conflicting information. We study the feedback between disease, information, and stay-at-home behavior using a hybrid agent-based-system dynamics model that incorporates evolving trust in sources of information. We use this model to investigate how divergent reporting and conflicting information can alter the trajectory of a public health crisis. The model shows that divergent reporting not only alters disease prevalence over time, but also increases polarization of the population’s behaviors and trust in different sources of information.
This project studied the potential for multiscale group dynamics in complex social systems, including emergent recursive interaction. Current social theory on group formation and interaction focuses on a single scale (individuals forming groups) and is largely qualitative in its explanation of mechanisms. We combined theory, modeling, and data analysis to find evidence that these multiscale phenomena exist, and to investigate their potential consequences and develop predictive capabilities. In this report, we discuss the results of data analysis showing that some group dynamics theory holds at multiple scales. We introduce a new theory on communicative vibration that uses social network dynamics to predict group life cycle events. We discuss a model of behavioral responses to the COVID-19 pandemic that incorporates influence and social pressures. Finally, we discuss a set of modeling techniques that can be used to simulate multiscale group phenomena.
Abstract not provided.
Abstract not provided.
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
There is a wealth of psychological theory regarding the drive for individuals to congregate and form social groups, positing that people may organize out of fear, social pressure, or even to manage their self-esteem. We evaluate three such theories for multi-scale validity by studying them not only at the individual scale for which they were originally developed, but also for applicability to group interactions and behavior. We implement this multi-scale analysis using a dataset of communications and group membership derived from a long-running online game, matching the intent behind the theories to quantitative measures that describe players’ behavior. Once we establish that the theories hold for the dataset, we increase the scope to test the theories at the higher scale of group interactions. Despite being formulated to describe individual cognition and motivation, we show that some group dynamics theories hold at the higher level of group cognition and can effectively describe the behavior of joint decision making and higher-level interactions.