28. February 2014
New paper on peer review from LABSS and UniValencia: Mechanism change in a simulation of peer review: from junk support to elitism.
Our honest, totally unbiased, objective evaluation of this work is: reading it will change your life. You will sleep better. A sense of clarity will ensue. The pictures will spring up your imagination. The only paper you really need to read this year.
Ahem. Well maybe we’re a little bit overplaying it. Ok, here’s the abstract:
Peer review works as the hinge of the scientific process, mediating between research and the awareness/acceptance of its results. While it might seem obvious that science would regulate itself scientifically, the consensus on peer review is eroding; a deeper understanding of its workings and potential alternatives is sorely needed. Employing a theoretical approach supported by agent-based simulation, we examined computational models of peer review, performing what we propose to call redesign, that is, the replication of simulations using different mechanisms. Here, we show that we are able to obtain the high sensitivity to rational cheating that is present in literature. In addition, we also show how this result appears to be fragile against small variations in mechanisms. Therefore, we argue that exploration of the parameter space is not enough if we want to support theoretical statements with simulation, and that exploration at the level of mechanisms is needed. These findings also support prudence in the application of simulation results based on single mechanisms, and endorse the use of complex agent platforms that encourage experimentation of diverse mechanisms.
3. February 2014
27. January 2014
Daniel Villatoro, Giulia Andrighetto, Jordi Brandts, Luis Gustavo Nardin, Jordi Sabater-Mir, and Rosaria Conte: The Norm-Signaling Effects of Group Punishment: Combining Agent-Based Simulation and Laboratory Experiments Social Science Computer Review 0894439313511396, first published on December 11, 2013
Punishment plays a crucial role in favoring and maintaining social order. Recent studies emphasize the effect of the norm-signaling function of punishment. However, very little attention has been paid so far to the potential of group punishment. We claim that when inflicted by an entire group, the recipient of punishment views it as expressing norms. The experiments performed in this work provide evidence that humans are motivated not only by material incentives that punishment imposes but also by normative information that it conveys. The same material incentive has a different effect on the individuals’ future compliance depending on the way it is implemented, having a stronger effect when it also conveys normative information. We put forward the hypothesis that by inflicting equal material incentives, group punishment is more effective in enhancing compliance than uncoordinated punishment, because it takes advantage of the norm-signaling function of punishment. In support of our hypothesis, we present cross-methodological data, that is, data obtained through agent-based simulation and laboratory experiments with human subjects. The combination of these two methods allows us to provide an explanation for the proximate mechanisms generating the cooperative behavior observed in the laboratory experiment.
13. January 2014
In the cycle of the aCrossSocial seminars, we announce for Jan. 22 Francesca Giardini:
What goes around comes around: How reputation can support cooperation in natural and artificial societies.
Discussant: Laura BARCA
21. December 2013
il 13 gennaio 2014, ore 17, presso la Sala delle Colonne dell’Università LUISS, Via Pola 12, Roma, si terrà la presentazione del libro Minding Norms. Mechanisms and Dynamics of Social Order in Agent Societies.
“Norms are prescribed conducts applied by the majority of
people. Getting across cultures and centuries, norms
evolved to rule all human relationships, from the most
formal to the most intimate. Impinging on any sphere of
life, from religious to political, norms affect social, moral,
and even aesthetical behaviours. They are enforced
through centralized sanctions or distributed control, and
originate through deliberate acts of issuing or from spon-
taneous interaction in informal settings. Despite ubiquity
and universality, norms are still awaiting for a general
comprehensive theory, simultaneously doing justice to
three intuitions: that, under variable contents, norms cor-
respond to a common notion; that, once brought about,
norms feedback on their producers, affecting their con-
ducts; and finally that before and in order to drive the
behaviours of individuals, norms must affect their beliefs
and goals: people must detect and accept norms before
converting them into observable behaviours.”