Noyce Conference Room
  US Mountain Time
Paul Smaldino (University of California, Merced)

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Abstract:  Identity signals inform receivers of a signaler’s membership in a subset of individuals, and in doing so shape cooperation, conflict, and social learning.  Understanding the use and consequences of identity signaling is therefore critical for a complete science of collective human behavior. And, as with all complex social systems, this understanding is aided by the use of formal mathematical and computational models. I will review formal models of identity signaling, sorted into two classes. The first concerns models that assert how identity functions as a signal and test the consequences of those assertions, with a focus on public health behavior and disease transmission. The second concerns models used to understand how identity signals operate strategically in different social environments, with a focus on covert or encrypted communication. I will end by discussing an ongoing effort with SFI collaborators to test some of the latter model's predictions empirically. 

Research Collaboration
SFI Host: 
Mirta Galesic