game theory

Would you stake your fortune on a 100 to 1 outsider? Probably not. But what if, somewhere in a parallel universe, the straggling nag does come in first? Would the pleasure you feel in that universe outweigh the pain you feel in the one in which you've lost? Questions not dissimilar to this one occupy physicists and for entirely respectable reasons.

In the previous article we explored how a clever argument involving gambling makes the idea that there are parallel universes more credible. But does it really?

How do you best allocate students to universities, doctors to hospitals, or kidneys to transplant patients? It's a tough problem that has earned this year's Memorial Prize in Economics.

Andy Murray and Laura Robson made a good team at London 2012, bringing home silver in the mixed doubles. But how do you make sure that the competing pair is the best you can pick from the team?

Is it rational to believe in a god? The most famous rational argument in favour of belief was made by Blaise Pascal, but what happens if we apply modern game theory to the question?

Sometimes people are nasty when it would have been better to be nice.

Guilt, so some people have suggested, is what makes us nice. When we do someone a favour or choose not to exploit someone vulnerable, we do it because we fear the guilt we'd feel otherwise. A team of neuroscientists, psychologists and economists have this month produced some new results in this area, using a model from psychological game theory.

The 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics goes to two unusual economists
José-Manuel Rey unveils the curse of attractiveness
Game theorists model the evolution of trust and trustworthiness
Syndicate content