Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date






Conference Name

2019 Spring Simulation Conference (SpringSim)


Certain social norms evolve without punishment as conventions that do not adversely affect society. In this paper, we depart from the notion that humanitarianism is one such social norm, where peer pressure may be the only type of punishment that encourages individuals to conform. Using an agent-based modeling approach, we examine the role that networked elites have in diffusing a non-punishment-enforced norm through an artificial society. The model considers norm advocates who promote a norm of humanitarianism, elites who have wide networks to spread the new norm, and general individuals who evaluate the norm pushed from elites and adopted by their peers. The study finds that, regardless of starting parameter values, the population converges into two groups: norm adopters and those who oppose the norm.


0000-0002-7694-7845 (Frydenlund);

Original Publication Citation

Salimi, K., Frydenlund, E., Padilla, J. J., Haaland, H., & Wallevik, H. (2019). The role of elites in the diffusion of social norms of humanitarianism. 2019 Spring Simulation Conference (SpringSim), 12 pp. doi: 10.23919/SpringSim.2019.8732925