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Game Theory

Game Theory

Author: Julie Tietz
Description:

At the end of this tutorial, the learner will understand the basic ways in which game theory can be used to model conflicts

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Hi, I'm, Julie Tietz, and welcome to conflict resolution-- putting the pieces together. Today we're going to talk about game theory and conflict resolution.

So let's start off by defining game theory. Game theory is a theory which interprets human interactions as a set of strategies and actions intended to move individuals closer to attaining goals in either a collaborative or competitive framework.

So game theory describes the way people select and use strategies when making decisions, including decisions about how to have their needs met. And also, how to interact with parties they perceive to be in conflict.

So in game theory, there is always a set of players. And a player is a person participating in an interaction or process interpreted as a game.

Along with the players, there's also a set of moves which is, in game theory, an action taken with the intent of moving closer to goal. So these are the strategies available to the players.

There are also payoffs which can be a gain, which is a movement closer to a desired goal in a game. Payoffs also could include a loss, and that is a movement away from a desired goal in a game.

Games can be divided into cooperative and non-cooperative. A cooperative game is where players work together by creating binding commitments to jointly win. So they work together so everyone in the game can be considered a winner.

In a non-cooperative game, each win for one player represents a loss for another, and no binding commitments are possible. So there's always going to be a winner and a loser. And there's no coming together so everyone can win, such as in a cooperative game.

Game theory can be used to model conflict as a series of strategic moves. Although this may be true, basic game theory does not account well for the relational aspects that are included in conflict. And this can be seen especially if there is competition and one of the parties in the conflict is going to lose something. And this even includes moves that are not intended for gain.

So now that we have covered game theory and to conflict resolution, let's go over the key points of this. Game theory requires a set of players, a set of moves, and payoffs, whether that's a gain or a loss.

Game theory can be divided into cooperative and non-cooperative games. Cooperative being everyone wins, non-cooperative being there is a distinct winner and loser.

Game theory can be used as a model for conflict, but it does not sit well with the relational aspects that are often involved in conflict. And this is even the case if there is no intention to gain.

Thanks for taking the time out to view this tutorial, and I hope to catch you, again, next time.

Terms to Know
Gain

Movement closer to a desired goal in a game.

Game Theory

A theory which interprets human interactions as a set of strategies and actions intended to move individuals closer to attaining goals, in either a collaborative or competitive framework.

Loss

Movement away from a desired goal in a game.

Move

In game theory, an action taken with the intent of moving closer to a goal.

Player

A person participating in an interaction or process interpreted as a game.