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A Cognitive Social Simulation of Tribal Survival Strategies: The Importance of Cognitive and Motivational Factors

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AbstractWhen trying to understand social processes and phenomena, it is relevant, and arguably important, to take psychology (cognition, motivation, and so on) of individuals into consideration. Detailed computational models of cognitive agents that incorporate a wide range of psychological functionalities have been developed in cognitive science, while most of the work in social simulation still assumes rudimentary psychological functions within agents. In this work, through simulating survival strategies of tribal societies, the interaction of cognition/motivation on one hand and social institutions and processes on the other is explored. The results of the simulation demonstrate significant interactions between cognitive-motivational factors and social-environmental factors. For example, we show that there are cognitive-environmental dependency, cognitive-motivational dependency, and motivational-environmental dependency, among others. This work points to a more psychologically realistic approach towards social simulation (namely, Cognitive Social Simulation; Sun, 2006), as well as an area of research - exploring the cognitive-motivational-social-environmental interaction (through cognitive social simulation).

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