A Computational Approach to Homans Social Exchange Theory [article]

Taha Enayat, Mohsen Mehrani Ardebili, Ramtin Reyhani Kivi, Bahador Amjadi, Yousef Jamali
2020 arXiv   pre-print
How does society work? How do groups emerge within society? What are the effects of emotions and memory on our everyday actions? George Homans, like us, had a perspective on what society is, except that he was a sociologist. Homans theory, which is an exchange theory, is based on a few propositions about the fundamental actions of individuals, and how values, memory, and expectations affect their behavior. In this paper, our main interest and purpose are to find out whether these propositions
more » ... n satisfy our conception of society and generate essential properties of it computationally. To do so, Based on Homans' prepositions, we provide the opportunity for each agent to exchange with other agents. That is, each agent transacts with familiar agents based on his previous history with them and transacts with newly found agents through exploration. One novelty of our work is the investigation of implications of the base theory while covering its flaws with minimal intervention; flaws which are inevitable in a non-mathematical theory. The importance of our work is that we have scrutinized the consequences of an actual sociological theory. At the end of our investigation, we propose another proposition to Homans theory, which makes the theory more appealing, and we discuss other possible directions for further research.
arXiv:2007.14953v1 fatcat:ntrtaezvozcjffd6bqoijl2qdm