SESAM

Overview

The research group SESAM is led by Prof. Dr. Andreas Ernst The group pursues basic and applied research on human-environment interaction with the aim to support strategies for sustainable development.

On the basis of empirical studies, environmental knowledge, perception and behavior in social and environmental contexts are being utilized in model building. The models are validated and refined using, among others, computer simulations. Currently, projects are carried out in the following areas: (i) life styles, nature conservation, and behavioral innovation; (ii) environmental justice and vulnerability; (iii) computer supported learning for dealing with complexity; (iv) tools of agent-based modeling.

Research Questions and Approach

Point of departure for the research of the SESAM group is the need for improved knowledge in the analysis and modeling of human environmental behavior and the human-environment-interaction in general. While there are numerous, but often isolated models of the natural science aspects of environmental processes, there is a lack of predictive models of the anthropogenic processes, and thus, a lack of integrated models, i.e. models describing the behavioral as well as natural processes in a unified way.

Research on the interaction between humans and the environment includes environmental perception, environmental behavior and the distribution of resources with the related conflicts. Associated topics include decision making under uncertainty, risk perception, dealing with complex systems, ecological-social dilemmas, vulnerability, the diffusion of environmentally relevant attitudes and behavior, theories of justice, conflict resolution, as well as time and risk preferences. This is complemented by analyses of societal dynamics and an attempt at unifying actor-centered concepts with the description of collective and societal systems.

The explicit aim of our research is to evaluate, from various points of view, how to improve integrated models by including existing and new social science knowledge into these models, and how, and to what degree, the inclusion of this new knowledge improves the modeling results.

Methodologically, we attempt to devise convincing and empirically-grounded computer simulations, which can then be included in integrated models. These integrated models are aimed at producing valid scenarios to estimate the degrees of freedom for future action and the effects of interventions. This is done by so-called agent-based models which explicitly represent the decision maker(s) (i.e. individual, corporate or political actors) as the unit of analysis. In order to develop such models, concepts of artificial intelligence ae being utilized. Agent-based models can also be seen as a unifying interdisciplinary method in the behavioral sciences. In addition, work in the SESAM group is aimed at fostering the methodological competencies in behavioral science at CESR.

Projects

The projects are primarily concerned with the characterization, explanation and prediction of the dynamic aspects of social systems. This involves research about the acceptance of and behavior towards socio-technical innovations. Empirical analyses and agent-based models provide the methodological tools.

Members of the SESAM Group:

Andreas Ernst (Prof. Dr.)

Deputy Executive Director
Address Wilhelmshöher Allee 47
34117 Kassel
Building: Wilhelmshöher Allee 47
Room Raum 1140
Telephone 0561/804-6113
Telefax 0561/804-6116
Office Hours:

nach Vereinbarung

Picture of  Andreas (Prof. Dr.) Ernst

Marit Kristine List (Dr. phil.)

Address Wilhelmshöher Allee 47
34109 Kassel
Building: Wilhelmshöher Allee 47
Room Raum 2140
Telephone +49 561 804-6215
Telefax +49 561 804-6116
E-mail address list@cesr.de
Picture of  Marit Kristine (Dr. phil.) List

Marlene Batzke (M.SC. Psychologie)

Address Wilhelmshöher Allee 47
34109 Kassel
Building: Wilhelmshöher Allee 47
Room Raum 2200
Telephone +49 561 804-6144
Telefax +49 561 804-6116
E-mail address batzke@cesr.de
Picture of  Marlene (M.SC. Psychologie) Batzke

Iris Joschko (Dr.)

Address Wilhelmshöher Allee 47
34109 Kassel
Room 2210
Telephone +49 561 804 6148
Telefax +49 561 804 6116
Picture of  Iris (Dr.) Joschko

Geraldine Klaus (M.Sc. Psychologie)

Address Wilhelmshöher Allee 47
34109 Kassel
Building: Wilhelmshöher Allee 47
Room Raum 2190
Telephone +49-561 804-6152
Telefax +49-561 804-6112
E-mail address klaus@cesr.de
Picture of  Geraldine (M.Sc. Psychologie) Klaus

Johanna Quendt (M.Sc. Psychologie)

Address Wilhelmshöher Allee 47
34109 Kassel
Building: Wilhelmshöher Allee 47
Room Raum 2200
Telephone +49 561 804-6145
Telefax +49 561 804-6116
E-mail address quendt@uni-kassel.de
Picture of  Johanna (M.Sc. Psychologie) Quendt