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Smoking motivation peer pressure

by M.A. Helmich (Submitted: 11/13/2012)

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## WHAT IS IT?

This model has been created to show the influence of peer pressure on smoking behaviour in the context of perceived peer pressure and motivational orientation.

## HOW IT WORKS

• Each agent is either INTRINSICALLY or EXTRINSICALLY motivated, this is his MOTIVATIONAL ORIENTATION.
Essentially, being extrinsically motivated means an agent seeks rewards outside himself, meaning, approval from the other agents. If an agent is highly intrinsically motivated on the other hand, he will not feel as much need for social acceptance and will perceive less peer pressure. Those who are intrinsically motivated are colored in yellow tones, and those more extrinsically motivated in shades of magenta.

• Furthermore, each agent is either a SMOKER or a NON-SMOKER. This is displayed in the model by turltes shaped as a CIRCLE (for smokers) or a SQUARE (for non-smokers).
• As the agents change their smoking behaviour their shape will change (possibly more than once) from square to circle and vice versa. Changed agents can be easily spotted as they don't just change shape, but will also have black lines in them.

• Lastly, motivational orientation is not a binary concept, so there is a degree to which each agent is in terms of SELF-DETERMINATION. This can be seen in terms of shading. The darker the color of the agent, the closer he is to the far end of the scale. For example, a deep magenta means strong extrinsic motivation.
This range of self-determination varies on the same random scale (0 to 5) for extrinsic and intrinsic agents.

## HOW TO USE IT

• "Setup" clears the field and implements any changed settings according to sliders/switches.
• "Go" makes all agents interact and calculate whether or not they will change.

• "Empty-Rate" allows you to make the world entirely full, entirely empty, or anything in between.

• "Percent-Smoker" allows you to determine the odds of smokers and non-smokers.
• "Percent-Extrinsic" allows you to set the odds of extrinsic and intrinsic agents.

• The switch labeled 'neighbor' will make the agents determine whether they will change in relation to the eight turtles around them, or in relation to all the other agents in the world.
• The switch called 'gradient' allows you to view the same process with a simplified view of the motivational-orientation. Altough the color will be unified, the self-determination gradient will remain, just not visibly. Again, magenta = extrinsic, yellow = intrinsic.

• The monitors simply count the number of agents on the field with the set of qualities described in the header of each monitor.

## THINGS TO NOTICE

• Intrinsically motivated agents tend to change less than extrinsically motivated agents. This is because they feel less 'control' from the environment.
In the code, this is determined by the individualized value of each individual for 'CONTROL'. Notice that on this scale, intrinsic and extrinsic agents differ: a lower range for this item for intrinsics, and a higher score for extrinsics by definition.

•The formula used in this model derives from Nowak's model Sitsim, that can be found online in the model library.
Many of the components that were open to be manipulated by the user in the original model, have been individualized (per agent) in the code here.
• For example, what is termed 'control' in this model, was termed 'self-distance' in the original and could be set for all agents by the use of a slider. For this model, it was decided to give each agent an individual score, which determines how much they are influenced by their own opinion as opposed to the opinion of others. By differentiating on this variable, Nowak has made it possible for this model to create a difference between intrinsic and extrinsic inclinations.
• His measure of 'strength' has also been individualized. Rather than having a few powerful leaders and less influential followers, each individual has their own score on a scale from 0 to 5. Some individuals will thus influence others a bit more or less, but what your motivational orientation is, does not matter.

## THINGS TO TRY

Try running the model with both the gradient on and off.
See what changes when the neighbor switch is on or off.

Make sure to notice the monitor that indicates how many intrinsics have changed. Try setting the percentage of extrinsics at 33% and see what happens to the number of changed extrinsics? Compare it to when the slider is at 50%.

## EXTENDING THE MODEL

Allowing the agents to move between different groups - seeing college students usually have different social groups they interact with, these might also influence their smoking behaviour differently.
Allow for increased influence from close peers (not necessarily neighbors), or good friends.

## NETLOGO FEATURES

## RELATED MODELS

In Social Science:
Segregation
Voting
Sitsim: a model of social influence by Nowak:
http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/models/community/Sitsim

## CREDITS AND REFERENCES

Knee, C.R. & Neighbors, C. (2002). Self-determination, perception of peer pressure and drinking among college students. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32(3), pp. 522-543.

Nowak, A., De Raad, W. & Borkowski, W. (2011). Culture Change: the perspective of dynamical minimalism. Advances in Culture and Psychology, pp. 249-278.

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