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Avances en Psicología Latinoamericana

Print version ISSN 1794-4724

Abstract

CHAIGNEAU, SERGIO; CANESSA, ENRIQUE  and  QUEZADA, ARIEL. Application of agent-based modeling to the study of gender stereotypes. Av. Psicol. Latinoam. [online]. 2012, vol.30, n.2, pp.238-259. ISSN 1794-4724.

Gender stereotypes are sets of characteristics that people believe to be typically true of a man or woman. We report an agent-based model (ABM) that simulates how stereotypes disseminate in a group through associative mechanisms. The model consists of agents that carry one of several different versions of a stereotype, which share part of their conceptual content. When an agent acts according to his/her stereotype, and that stereotype is shared by an observer, then the latter's stereotype strengthens. Contrarily, if the agent does not act according to his/her stereotype, then the observer's stereotype weakens. In successive interactions, agents develop preferences, such that there will be a higher probability of interaction with agents that confirm their stereotypes. Depending on the proportion of shared conceptual content in the stereotype's different versions, three dynamics emerge: all stereotypes in the population strengthen, all weaken, or a bifurcation occurs, i.e., some strengthen and some weaken. Additionally, we discuss the use of agent-based modeling to study social phenomena and the practical consequences that the model's results might have on stereotype research and their effects on a community.

Keywords : gender stereotypes; agent based modelling; associative learning; social influence; simulation; Netlogo.

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