Understanding behavior through Mathematical Modeling has been used to simulate everything from climate patterns to population growth, but Dirk Helbing uses them to examine something even more complex, namely human behavior. Drawing on his background in physics, Helbing developed the “social force model” to simulate the movement of pedestrians, whose behavior can depend on variables such as desired velocity and the distance between a pedestrian and other people or objects. He has also used mathematical methods to study a variety of behaviors including cooperation, social norms, conflicts, and revolutions, traffic flows, and the self-organization of groups. Helbing is currently leading an ambitious project called FuturICT with its Living Earth Simulator, a computer simulation that aims to model life on Earth, with a focus on techno-socio-economic systems. He hopes to one day use this computer-modeled world to understand current global economic and societal activity, and prevent or mitigate crises.
In this season of ghosts, witches, and everything spooky, APS President Lisa Feldman Barrett takes aim at the hordes of mistaken beliefs she sees continuing to haunt psychological science. More
Individuals with disabilities are often excluded from research participant pools. Psychological researcher Nazanin M. Heydarian highlights some resources that can enhance accessibility and inclusiveness in lab experiments. More
Psychological scientists looking to apply for funding from the US National Science Foundation may be interested in upcoming January and February deadlines. More