Parsimony versus reductionism: how can crowd psychology be introduced into computer simulation?

Seitz, Michael J, Templeton, Anne, Drury, John, Köster, Gerta and Philippides, Andrew (2016) Parsimony versus reductionism: how can crowd psychology be introduced into computer simulation? Review of General Psychology, 21 (1). pp. 95-102. ISSN 1089-2680

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Abstract

Computer simulations are increasingly being used to predict the behaviour of crowds. However, the models used are mainly based on video observations, not an understanding of human decision making. Theories of crowd psychology can elucidate the factors underpinning collective behaviour in human crowds. Yet, in contrast to psychology, computer science must rely upon mathematical formulations in order to implement algorithms and keep models manageable. Here we address the problems and possible solutions encountered when incorporating social psychological theories of collective behaviour in computer modelling. We identify that one primary issue is retaining parsimony in a model whilst avoiding reductionism by excluding necessary aspects of crowd psychology, such as the behaviour of groups. We propose cognitive heuristics as a potential avenue to create a parsimonious model that incorporates core concepts of collective behaviour derived from empirical research in crowd psychology.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2017 16:47
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2017 22:44
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/66196

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