Simulation of Bullying and Conforming in a Class Based on Socion Theory

Toshihiro Osumi, Hirotaka Osawa, Michita Imai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Bullying is a serious problem, especially at elementary schools and junior high schools, and occurs all over the world with some variations. As a countermeasure against bullying, many interventions and preventive programs have been proposed (e.g., counseling, dispatch of advisers, group work, suspension orders) and there have been many investigations presenting analyses of bullying along with intervention and prevention strategies. However, numerous samples and long times are required for the analysis of strategies in the real world. We believe that simulations of bullying and countermeasures are effective in providing quick and easy analysis. In this investigation, we developed a simulation model of school bullying “within-group” or “within-class” that is based on “socion theory”. The primary feature of socion theory is that each agent has an imagined personal relationship. We implemented a strategy called the “conforming strategy” to simulate bullying caused by conforming behavior of students. Student agents who implement the conforming strategy watch the human relationships around them and update their own imagined relationships. They then conform to the behavior of other students to achieve better social standing or to maintain their position on the basis of simulation results based on their own imagined relationships. The results of the experiments show that the conforming strategy increases the probability of bullying and the number of victims, and that conforming behavior increases the probability of bullying in the real world. We also describe a situation in which teachers underestimate or cannot perceive bullying when it occurs, and many teachers underestimate or cannot perceive bullying in the real world. Overall, we show that socion theory has sufficient expressiveness to be used as a foundation for bullying simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-24
Number of pages13
JournalElectronics and Communications in Japan
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1


  • agent-based social simulation
  • bullying
  • human relationship
  • socion theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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