‘They All Look the Same to Me.’ An Agent Based Simulation of Out-Group Homogeneity

  • Ansgar E. DeppingEmail author
  • Nathaniel Osgood
  • Kurt Kreuger
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10354)


Group memberships can dramatically affect the way people perceive each other. One of the effects group membership elicits is called out-group homogeneity. It is the tendency to judge members of out-groups as more similar to one another than in-group members. Research on out-group homogeneity faces some challenges that are difficult to overcome in experimental or field settings. We propose that simulation models can help us further understand these principles and test hypotheses that are difficult to test in classical research settings. Our model simulates trust developments using a classic social dilemma based on the prisoner’s dilemma. The patterns that emerge in our model are coherent with what literature would suggest. We also shed some light onto so far unexplored territory such as the longitudinal analysis of trust development in the context of group perceptions. We further discuss limitations and possible future directions.


Out-group homogeneity Prisoner’s dilemma 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ansgar E. Depping
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nathaniel Osgood
    • 1
  • Kurt Kreuger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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