The Power of Laughter

We know that laughter is infectious – there’s that old saying that laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone. Coca-Cola proved the point about the power of laughter with this cute and disarming ad: It’s pretty self-explanatory — I admit that I laughed along with the rest of the people on […]

A Compromise that Sent 150 Strangers to the Beach!

JetBlue recently engaged in a social experiment of sorts aboard one of its aircraft: the result was an interesting lesson in both social dynamics and the value of working together for the best results. As related in an UpWorthy post last month, The 150 passengers on Flight 603, bound for Phoenix from Boston, were asked […]

Thanks to John Nash and Playing Nice

I’ve written frequently over the years about the Nobel laureate and brilliant mathematician John Nash, who died with his wife Alicia when their taxi lost control Saturday on the New Jersey Turnpike. And rightly so, because his groundbreaking work in game theory and his Nash equilibrium (along with differential geometry, and partial differential equations) provides deep insight into the factors that govern […]

Outsource Magazine — October 2013

Stewart and Plotkin, the Prisoner’s Dilemma and Generous Strategies Column by Kate Vitasek published Oct. 16 in Outsource Magazine online. I’ve been a game theory fan for many years, particularly as it relates to showing that cooperative behavior indeed creates true “win-win” situations. So I was excited to read a work of University of Pennsylvania […]

Gaming with Game Theory

What happens when a behavioral ecologist uses a game theory exam to test his students’ proficiency at cheating? Even better, what happens when the same UCLA professor, Peter Nonacs, then confronts his students with a version of the Prisoner’s Dilemma to decide their final grades? Both Nonacs and the students learned important lessons about Game […]

A Game Theory Power Play — UK Style!

I often use game theory and the prisoner’s dilemma in my talks to share the advantages and disadvantages of cooperation. In the prisoner’s dilemma  “players” are not in the same room and are unable to negotiate and have to make choices on whether to cooperate or not based on rewards. There are three simple outcomes. […]

Psychology of Outsourcing, Part 2: Eric Berne and the Games People—and Companies!—Play

Last time I kicked-off what I think will be an enlightening series on the “psychology of outsourcing” based on the work of modern psychological thinkers and how their theories and analyses—which mainly apply to personal and social interactions—also contain definite lessons for the business world. More than 50 years ago Eric Berne’s classic and powerful […]