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Journal of Mathematical Sociology

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System theory -- Social aspects, Interpersonal relations -- Study and teaching -- United States, Altruism -- Social aspects, Helping behavior -- Case studies, Whole and parts (Philosophy)


New theoretical agent-based model of population-wide adoption of prosocial common-pool behavior with four parameters (initial percent of adopters, pressure to change behavior, synergy from behavior, and population density); dynamics in behavior, movement, freeriding, and group composition and size; and emergence of multilevel group selection. Theoretical analysis of model’s dynamics identified six regions in model’s parameter space, in which pressure-synergy combinations lead to different outcomes: extinction, persistence, and full adoption. Simulation results verified the theoretical analysis and demonstrated that increases in density reduce number of pressure-synergy combinations leading to population-wide adoption; initial percent of contributors affects underlying behavior and final outcomes, but not size of regions or transition zones between them; and random movement assists adoption of prosocial common-pool behavior.


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This is the Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Routledge - Taylor and Francis - in Journal of Mathematical Sociology on February 5, 2022, available online:




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