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The Spread of Irrational Behaviours by Contagion:An Agent Micro-Simulation

Gatherer, Derek (2002) The Spread of Irrational Behaviours by Contagion:An Agent Micro-Simulation. Journal of Memetics-Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission, 6. ISSN 1366-4786

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Abstract

A micro-simulation is described, for rational and irrational strategies\nin human mating behaviour. The spread of irrational behaviour through\na population from a single initial individual, the `contagionist\nparadigm', is shown to be highly unlikely in most realistic circumstances.\nAn exception to this rule is shown to be where the `self-fulfilling\nprophecy' phenomenon is exhibited, i.e.. the irrational meme affects\nthe outcome of the mating. Additionally, where the irrational strategy,\nunder conditions of self-fulfilling prophecy, is allowed to co-exist\nwith a rational strategy (i.e.. a strategy based on factual information),\nboth can proceed to fixation, resulting in a population of individuals\nexhibiting both rational and irrational memes simultaneously. However,\nwhere successful pairs are removed from the population, there is\na tendency for neither behaviour to persist. Maintenance of either\nbehaviour in the population under circumstances of removal of successful\npairs requires a cultural information system, i.e.. one where a common\npool of information may be accessed without a requirement for contagion.\nThis implies that contagionist explanations of culture may be strictly\nlimited in their application. Some attempt is then made to generalise\nthe conclusions to financial systems.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Memetics-Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
Subjects: ?? CULTURAL TRANSMISSIONEPIDEMICSIRRATIONALITYMEMES ??
Departments: Faculty of Health and Medicine > Biomedical & Life Sciences
ID Code: 127866
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 28 Sep 2018 15:54
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2019 18:27
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/127866

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