2018 Modeling Social Dynamics and Health Behavior Conference
ACSE academic Dr Robin Purshouse was invited as an international guest speaker at the Modeling Social Dynamics and Health Behavior Conference in Pittsburgh, PA.
The conference studied the complex contexts of health behaviours and the dynamic interactions of individuals with their social and physical environments, bringing together research leaders to discuss the integration of modelling approaches into the field of behavioural and community health sciences.
Robin’s talk presented a conceptual framework for health behaviours and its implementation as an agent-based computer modelling architecture that can accommodate multiple disciplinary perspectives simultaneously. The framework derives from the mechanism-based tradition in social sciences (influenced by the work of Robert Merton, James Coleman, and more recently Peter Hedström) and enables both individuals and social structures to interact dynamically. Robin showed how this framework can be used to represent alternative mechanisms that have been theorised as causal factors or pathways for alcohol use. He also demonstrated how such models can be grounded empirically in community contexts, to support policy makers in appraising and evaluating public health policy options and interventions.