Wander Jager

University of Groningen, Faculty of Economics and Business Marketing Institute

Multi agent simulation of human behaviour using psychological theory


Multi agent simulation is becoming a more standard methodological tool in exploring and experimenting with micro-macro dynamics of human behaviour. Typically they focus on the dynamics that emerge when large groups of people are interacting. Applications relate to market dynamics and innovation diffusion, opinion dynamics, crowding, traffic control, evacuation, team composition and performance and financial markets, to name a few. Whereas in social psychological and sociological literature an abundance exist of theories on social interaction processes, the formalised rules in these simulation usually range from very simple to very basic formalisations of theories. Whereas simplification is usually a necessary process in formalising agent rules, generally a conceptual model that forms the theoretical starting point for a simplification process is lacking. In the presentation examples on consumer behaviour and opinion dynamics will be presented to demonstrate how behavioural theory can be used in formalising agent rules. Following that a perspective will be given concerning the challenges in formalising social interaction and choice problems.


Retrieve the slides


Relevant literature

Delre, S.A., Jager, W., Bijmolt, T.H.A.. Janssen, M.A . (accepted) .Targeting and timing promotional activities: An agent-based model for the takeoff of new products Journal of Business Research

Gilbert, N., Jager, W., Deffuant, G., Adjali, I., (in press). Complexities in Markets: Introduction to the Special Issue. Journal of Business Research.

Jager, W., (in press). The four P’s in social simulation, a perspective on how marketing could benefit from the use of social simulation. Journal of Business Research

Jager, W., & Mosler, H.J. (2007) Simulating human behavior for understanding and managing environmental dilemmas. Journal of Social Issues, 63 (1). Pp 97-116.

Janssen, M.A. and W. Jager (2001) Fashions, habits and changing preferences: Simulation of psychological factors affecting market dynamics, Journal of Economic Psychology, 22: 745-772. 


Wednesday, April 25, 10:45 - 12:15


ETH Zurich, Kreuzplatz 5, KPL F 14