Applying Agent-based Simulation Software and Sociological Theory to Decision Making


While our experiments and simulation study how grid and group influence the decision-making of individuals, our statistical analyses on the impact of culture focus on macro patterns - how countries differ in these general cultural characteristics and what consequences this has for levels of collective political violence.

While a lot of cross-cultural comparative research is done today - both, in psychology and in the social sciences - one of the most prominent conceptualizations of culture in anthropology, Mary Douglas' grid/group cultural theory, has hardly been used in quantitative comparative analysis. As it offers a theory-guided and parsimonious framework to characterize different cultures and their behavioral implications, we believe that is a line of research worth pursuing:

Operationalizing grid and group with survey items from the World Value Survey (WVS), the largest available dataset of its kind, allows us to construct indices of these constructs and compare aggregated grid and group scores across countries. Statistical analysis reveals that there are indeed a lot of significant differences between countries as visualized in the figure below.

Note: This page will be updated and extended soon.




Faculty: Sun-Ki Chai, Min-Sun Kim

External Collaborator: Ming Liu