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Modelling adaptive and anticipatory human decision-making in complex human-environment system

Madsen, Jens ORCID: 0000-0003-2405-8496, Powers, Brian, Bailey, Richard, Carrella, Ernesto, Payette, Nicolas and Pilditch, Toby (2024) Modelling adaptive and anticipatory human decision-making in complex human-environment system. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 27 (1).

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Identification Number: 10.18564/jasss.5214


To effectively manage complex human-environment fisheries systems, it is necessary to understand the psychology of fisher agents. While bio-economic models typically provide simple, abstract approaches for human behaviour (e.g. fully informed profit maximisers), fisher agents are of course neither simple nor perfect. Imperfections of learning, memory, and information availability, combined with the diversity of value preferences within populations, can lead to substantial deviations and unanticipated effects of interventions. This paper presents a computational model of fisher agents’ decision-making that draws on theoretical and empirical psychological insights to enrich this critical component. The model includes mechanisms for information integration (learning), social comparisons, and thresholds for economic satisfaction. In offering this enriched account, the model captures how fishers may adapt behaviourally given changes in policy, economic conditions, or social pressures. Furthermore, the model can be parameterised to capture the effects of different socio-cultural contexts can be simulated. The model of fisher agents has been implemented as part of POSEIDON (an agent-based fisheries management model), showing that fishers imbued with the model learn and adapt when responding dynamically to changing conditions. The model is thus demonstrated in a fisheries environment, but we discuss how its architecture could be implemented for simulation in other human-environment systems, such as designing policies to combat the human-environment problems.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 University of Surrey
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2024 15:18
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2024 15:27

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