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  • This battle involves a soldier’s point of view. The main question for the soldier is should he stay on the front line and be shot, or should he run away regardless of who wins the battle
  • The Aztecs surrender thinking any commander so confident as to purposefully burn his only option for retreat must have good reason for such extreme optimism, and the Aztecs retreated and Cortez had a bloodless victory
  • Henry slaughtered French prisoners in front of his enemies His soldiers will not retreat knowing what the fate of losing is This is a greatly immoral act. Yet it is effective and necessary. Henry’s own soldiers are motivated knowing their fate will be the same at the hands of the French because they have witnessed the slaughter of French prisoners in front of the French army.
  • Many top people have an art for manipulating others. Politicians always ride the fence until election day has passed. Businesses are in the business to make money. Oil executives validate increasing gas prices on the premise that they anticipate an increase in crude oil and future lower reserves. This will continue as long as the CEOs aren’t challenged. As summer comes nearer, vacations will be cut short due to high gas prices. As tourism and travel decreases along with retail sales, these large entities will soon put pressure on the oil companies and until this happens gas prices will rise. When is too much, too much? We will soon find out as summer approaches.
  • This work focused on whole sets of strategies that one would take to improve the payoff in a game involving 2 or more players. The change in one’s strategy would not work however, if the other players did not make alterations in their own strategies. Playing chicken for example.
  • Many times when the police interrogate multiple suspects the interrogator will pin one suspect against another. They usually say things like, “your buddy is ratting you out” and “that’s not what your partner said”
  • The prisoner can confess and go away for a long time. He can rat out his friend and get a shorter sentence. He can not confess and get away due to lack of evidence. UNLESS, his partner rats him out, he goes away for a long time. Stay quiet and go free, or each confess and go away for a short time.
  • ABC – Super Nanny uses consequence to modify child behavior. This is mechanism design theory. Any misbehavior on the child’s part has a definite consequence, usually a naughty stool. CBS - CSI NY uses interrogation practices. In addition the investigators theorize how the killing or death occurs at the hands of the criminal. This is later used during interrogation to get the criminal to confess because the police already know how the crime occurred. Reality show Survivor, the contestants usually in the beginning vote off the weakest people. This is done to ensure everyone’s survival. The around the middle of the game the strongest are voted off. This is to ensure that the average guy can win. Your goal is to look good but not too good to stay in the game.
  • FOX has the reality show Un1mous where all participants must vote on one person to win a sum of money. This is a zero sum game. You personally cannot vote for yourself yet you need to get all the other contestants to vote for you so that you become the winner. Each episode is filled with individuals manipulating others in means to be the “nice guy” that everyone votes for. NBC – Law and Order installments all show police interrogations and some show criminal reasoning. The ultimate example of the Prisoner’s Dilemma.


  • 1. Game Theory Do your choices today really affect the choices you have tomorrow? Do your decisions depend upon the anticipated choice of others?
  • 2. Game Theory is
    • A branch of Applied Mathematics that studies the strategies one makes to maximize his/her efforts
    • The study of the strategic interactions of individuals and outcomes
    • An interdisciplinary study of human behavior
  • 3. The inventors of Game Theory
    • Mathematicians
    • John von Neumann Oskar Morgenstern
    • In 1944, These men collaborated and wrote The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior
  • 4.
    • These include but are not limited to:
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • Politics
    • Ethics
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    Many disciplines are involved in Game Theory
  • 5. Three main branches of Game Theory
    • 1) Decision Theory –
    • This is usually a one person game
    • Decisions made for evolution
    • Man versus Nature
    • Decisions made for self-preservation
    • Economic risks taken to maximize profits
    • Political decisions made to counter terrorism
  • 6. Three main branches of Game Theory
    • 2) General Equilibrium Theory –
    • This theory deals with trade and production
    • Consumers and Producers
    • International trade policies
  • 7. Three main branches of Game Theory
    • 3) Mechanism design theory –
    • The consequences of decisions made depend upon the rules of the situation
    • This includes compensation and wage agreements
    • Supply and Demand
    • Auction design to maximize revenue
  • 8. Game Theory was designed to
    • Provide theories of economic and the strategic behavior of humans
    • A metaphor for more serious aspects of human society
    • Explain an individual’s choice of strategies in which one’s outcome is dependant on the choice strategies of others
  • 9. Ancient Examples of Game Theory
    • Plato’s writings Laches and Symposium recalls the Battle of Delium
    • If his army wins he may be killed
    • If the enemy wins, he will surely be killed
  • 10. The Spanish conqueror Cortez
    • As Cortez enters Mexico by port to attack the Aztecs
    • He burns all his ships to prevent his troops from retreating
    • The Aztecs witness this
  • 11. Soldier’s rationalizations
    • Soldiers are motivated to not retreat
    • Assessment of the dangers of battle
    • Self-interest in terms of bodily harm
    • Thoughts of retreat are dependant upon the perceived reaction of other soldiers
    • Brave soldiers may consider retreat rather than die in seemingly pointless event
  • 12. Soldiers motivation to stay
    • Deserting soldiers are often shot on sight
    • Deserters will suffer the same if not worse fate than a soldier who stays to fight the war
  • 13. Shakespeare’s Henry V
    • Battle of Agincourt
    • Duel motivation
    • Positive for his troops
    • Deterrence for the enemy
  • 14. Cut-throat competition
    • The manipulation of others is important to some occupations
    • Generals
    • Politicians
    • Businesspeople
    • Con-artists
    • CEOs
  • 15. The reasoning of Cortez and Henry V
    • The actions by the two leaders in these battles comes from a logic brought forth not by a passive world but by the anticipation of aggression
    • Each in their own actions produce a pre-emptive strike against their opponents
  • 16. Nash Equilibrium
    • John Forbes Nash
    • Nobel Prize-winning mathematician
  • 17. Police Interrogations
    • Suspects arrested with little evidence
    • Police manipulate the suspects for
    • Information
    • Confessions
    • Implicating other suspects
  • 18. Prisoner’s Dilemma
    • Stay quiet?
    • Confess?
    • Implicate others?
    • Which is best for my self-preservation?
  • 19. Game Theory on television
    • ABC
    • Super Nanny
    • CBS
    • CSI-NY
  • 20. Game Theory on television
    • FOX Unan1mous
    • NBC
    • Law and Order – SVU