On money dependence relations systems [Geldabhängigkeitsbeziehungssystme]

The present research project investigates the socio-cognitive foundation of money by the means of
formal simulation. Hitherto no study has presented an explicit model on the socio-cognitive function and
significance of money in our society. Money allows for the economic exchange between market participants in the absence of mutual acquaintance. The socio-cognitive
peculiarity of such a trading system will be investigated against the background of barter trade.
The theoretical base for the socio-cognitive modelling of agents will be provided by Castelfranchi's theory of
social dependence (1991, 1992, 1995, 1996).
By the means of a multi agent systems (MAS) formal simulation approach semi-autonomous agents will be
modelled for two different types of economies: the barter economy and the monetary economy. MAS do consist of
a number of semi-autonomous agents, which do achieve each of their goals easier in collaboration than
individually. Due to the dynamics of MAS it is possible to model self-organizing systems with agents which are endowed with rather simple strategies . In a first step agents will be modelled such way that they are able to
cope with the socio-cognitive request of barter trade in small systems. By the means of a gradual increase of the
number of agents, a system of growing complexity may be created, to observe when and due to what factors the
trade will collapse or even evolve into a new systemic order. In a second phase a means of exchange will be
introduced in the trade system and the agents will be designed to be able to trade with it. Analogously to the barter
system the number of agents will be varied to study the development of the market processes.
The pivotal questions, which will be addressed in this approach concern on one hand the problematic notion of
value in economic theory, and on the other hand the sociological and social psychological issue of the
emergence of social institutions (such as money). The latter should provide above all new insights into the
significance of social institutions for man's social actions. The preliminary thesis of the project:
Social institutions are based and developed as a function of the de-socialization of social action. Social institutions are catalysts of
social complexity.

Project ID: 
Project funding: 
Other - International
Funding source: 
FWF - Erwin Schroedinger
Project Timeframe: 
Wed, 01/11/2006 - Fri, 31/10/2008
ISTC Contact Person: 
Tarek Josef el Sehity

Cristiano Castelfranchi

ISTC Groups: 
Project Total Budget: 
  • psychology of money;
  • reputation;
  • trust;