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OFAI-TR-2000-27 ( 533kB g-zipped PostScript file,  905kB PDF file)

Introducing Emotions into the Computational Study of Social Norms: A First Evaluation

Alexander Staller, Paolo Petta

It is now generally recognised that emotions play an important functional role within both individuals and societies, thereby forming an important bond between these two levels of analysis. In particular, there is a bi-directional interrelationship between social norms and emotions, with emotions playing an instrumental role for the sustenance of social norms and social norms being an essential element of regulation in the individual emotional system. This paper lays the foundations for a computational study of this interrelationship, drawing upon the functional appraisal theory of emotions. We describe a first implementation of a situated agent architecture, TABASCOJAM, that incorporates a simple appraisal mechanism and report on its evaluation in a well-known scenario for the study of aggression control as a function of a norm, that was suitably extended. The simulation results reported in the original aggression control study were successfully reproduced, and consistent performances were achieved for extended scenarios with conditional norm obeyance. In conclusion, it is argued that the present effort indicates a promising lane towards the necessary abandonment of logical models for the explanation and simulation of human social behaviour.

Keywords: norms, emotions

Citation: Staller A., Petta P.: Introducing Emotions into the Computational Study of Social Norms: A First Evaluation. In Edmonds B., Dautenhahn K. (eds.): Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Special Issue on Starting from Society - the application of social analogies to computational systems, 2001