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The Evolution of Social Behaviour in Spatial Structures


About This PhD Project

Project Description

This PhD project will use behavioural game theory and computer science to examine how social behaviour, norms and conventions evolve in social groups that have a realistic territorial or spatial structure. Existing research suggest that the extent to which agents interact and learn within their local (social or territorial) neighbourhoods affects how cooperation and coordination evolvs in the society as a whole. Localised social interactions also shape the way information is transmitted and how people learn from one another. The project will contribute to this novel and cutting-edge area of study.

Approaches that have contributed to knowledge in this area include computer simulations of artificial adaptive agents as well as economic experiments. The PhD project will use these and potentially complementary approaches from the behavioural sciences to further our understanding of localised interactions that characterise much of real social situations. In particular, the ambition of the project is to marry experimental approaches with computer simulations where the human participant replaces the artificial agent in sophisticated simulations of dynamic social interactions with a spatial structure.

A key tool will be a fully developed computer platform for gamified economic experiments developed in RMIT’s Behavioural Business Lab that will house the project. The BBL includes a vibrant PhD and researcher community and state-of-the art laboratory facilities in central Melbourne. Successful candidates will be expected to have a solid background in research methods, principles of behavioural economics and/or computer science. Programming skills and knowledge of game theory are an advantage. The supervision team will include specialists in game theory and behavioural research.

Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Program

School: EFM

Program Name(s) and Codes : PhD (EFM), DR203

This project is aligned with the Global Business Innovation Enabling Capability Platform.

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