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Regimes of collective logic

Ilya A. Surov (ITMO University, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation)
Vlada V. Ignateva (ITMO University, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation)
Andrey Y. Bazhenov (ITMO University, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 14 December 2020

Issue publication date: 22 July 2021




The study aims to reveal regularities of collective decision in groups of varying cooperativity and to investigate the influence of individualism–collectivism cultural dimension on the emergence of collective behavioral entities.


An agent-based model of group behavior is used to simulate the logic of collective binary decisions defined by reaching a consensus threshold. The key parameter of the model is the cooperativity of interaction between individuals which locates the group in individualism–collectivism cultural dimension. The probabilities of collective decisions are measured as a function of individual preferences and the strength of cooperation between agents.


Strong, weak and middle point cooperativities of inter-individual interaction define three distinct regimes of collective decision logic, namely, individualism, conformism and criticality. The critical organization allows the group to generate coherent non-predetermined collective behavior in statistical agreement with individual preferences.

Research limitations/implications

Emergent collective behavior with coherent and nondeterministic decision-making can be modeled in an agent-based approach with local interaction between individuals tuned to a critical point. Variation of a single cooperativity parameter accounts for a continuous transition between organizations of the group inherent to inert matter and living systems.

Social implications

A new organization of social systems distinguished by internally relaxed relations and large-scale freedom is found beyond the traditional individualism–collectivism contraposition. This state is reached by tuning behavioral logic of individuals to a critical balance of individual and collective values.


Individualist, conformist and critical regimes of collective organization distinct in terms of integrity, complexity and determinism are recognized as universal organizational classes of nature spanning both inert and living systems. In particular, individualist and conformist regimes produce simple deterministic behavior typical for gases and solid bodies, whereas the critical organization generates complex nondeterministic behavior inherent to living organisms.



Funding: ITMO University project No. 618271

The authors would like to thank the reviewers for their comments and advice.


Surov, I.A., Ignateva, V.V. and Bazhenov, A.Y. (2021), "Regimes of collective logic", Kybernetes, Vol. 50 No. 8, pp. 2428-2452.



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