Accidental Atheists? Agent-Based Explanations for the Persistence of Religious Regionalism
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Forthcoming
39 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2007
This paper outlines a new approach to the study of religious commitment. Starting with a variant on Schelling's classic model of mobility and segregation, we develop a multi-agent religion simulation (MARS) that incorporates insights from theories of religious choice, social influence, and preference formation. Compared to standard statistical methods, MARS does a better job linking individual choices and collective outcomes. In particular, it demonstrates that stable regional patterns require a balanced combination of attachment to personal identity and adaptation to the social environment.
Keywords: religious regionalism, micro-macro, rational choice, emergent phenomena, social simulation, multi-agent models, agent-based models, NetLogo
JEL Classification: Z12, C6
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation