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When the Sum is More Than the Parts: The Use of Agent-Based Models to Experiment With Social Dynamics

Fri, May 25, 9:30 to 10:45, Hilton Prague, Floor: LL, Vienna


This introductory talk aims to offer a brief overview of the type of research questions that can benefit from the use of Agent-Based Modelling (ABM). Most communication research relies on observational and experimental designs; however, both have known limitations: observational data is not amenable to systematic manipulation; and experimental data often cannot be scaled up or generalized beyond the idealized conditions of a lab. ABM help overcome these limitations by creating a space for research without the constraints of lab experiments and observational studies. This talk will argue that ABMs are particularly good for theory building: they allow thought experiments to reach a higher level of sophistication.