Departmental Papers (ESE)


Social learning and adoption of new behavior govern the rise of a variety of behaviors:
from actions as mundane as dance steps to those as dangerous as new ways
to make IED detonators. However, agents in immersive virtual environments lack
the ability to realistically simulate the spread of new behavior. To address this gap,
a cognitive model was designed that represents well-known socio-cognitive factors
of attention, social influence, and motivation that influence learning and adoption
of a new behavior. To explore the effectiveness of this model, simulations modeled
the spread of two competing memes in Hamariyah, an archetypal Iraqi village developed
for cross-cultural training. Diffusion and clustering analyses were used to
examine adoption patterns in these simulations. Agents produced well-defined clusters
of early versus late adoption based on their social influences, personality, and
contextual factors such as employment status. These findings indicate that the spread
of behavior can be simulated plausibly in a virtual agent society and has the potential
to increase the realism of immersive virtual environments.

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version




Date Posted: 03 May 2016