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In the last few years we have assisted to a revolution in the social sciences with the incorporation of computer simulation to the study of social phenomena, what is known as social simulation. Social simulation is the keystone for the creation of what have been called the computational social sciences.
If we analyse the state of the art in social simulation we realise that in many cases the agents used for the simulation are cognitively very simple. However, in order to be able to simulate advanced social phenomena it is not enough with simple agents whose behaviour is directed by a set of pre-programmed rules. For example, the simulation of second order emergence requires (among other things) that the individuals of the simulation be able to recognise the emergence of macro social phenomena, be able to reason about those phenomena and their emergence, and act accordingly. We claim that this complex phenomena only can be properly simulated if we have individuals with advanced social cognitive capabilities and this is the purpose of the current project.
We will advance the state of the art in cognitive agent architectures by incorporating social capabilities that we consider precursors of what is necessary at the level of individual for the simulation of complex phenomena like second order emergence. Specifically we will develop a cognitive agent architecture that incorporates a theory of mind and a mechanism for the cognitive emergence (adoption), compliance and norm internalisation. Finally, a very important aspect that will be considered is how to design the architecture so it can be used in the context of massive social simulations.