Inizio contenuto principale del sito

  • Istituto di Economia
  • Seminario

Generative Social Science and Agent Zero: A Formal Alternative to the Rational Actor

Data 22.05.2024 orario

Piazza Martiri della Libertà 33 , 56127 PI Italia

Back to Sant'Anna Magazine

The Institute of Economics will hold a seminar meeting as part of its Seminar Series on Wednesday, May 22, 2024: Joshua M. Epstein from New York University will present the paper "Generative Social Science and Agent Zero: A Formal Alternative to the Rational Actor". 


In the epistemology of generative social science, to explain a macroscopic pattern, it does not suffice to demonstrate that it is a Nash equilibrium. Rather one must show how the pattern could emerge on time scales of interest in a population of cognitively plausible agents. Despite numerous deep anomalies, the rational actor model dominates the social sciences for lack of explicit formal alternatives. Although minimal and provisional, Epstein’s Agent_Zero is one candidate. Based on cognitive neuroscience, Agent Zero’s behavior results from the interaction of an affective module, a boundedly rational deliberative module, and social interactions with other emotionally driven and statistically hobbled agents. The model generates important macro-phenomena and individual behavior in groups that violate Rational Choice Theory.

The Seminar will be held in Aula 5.