Does Game Theory Have a Wife?


Martha Robinson

Game theory is a field of study that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It is a mathematical approach to understanding decision-making, which can be applied to a wide range of fields, from economics and politics to biology and psychology.

One question that often arises when discussing game theory is whether or not it has a “wife.” In this article, we will explore the answer to this question and what it means for the field of game theory.

What is Game Theory?

Before we dive into the topic of whether or not game theory has a “wife,” let’s first define what game theory actually is. Game theory is the study of strategic decision-making, where one person’s decision depends on the decisions of others. It involves analyzing the choices made by individuals or groups in situations where the outcome depends on what others do.

The Origin of the Question

The question of whether or not game theory has a “wife” comes from a famous joke made by mathematician John von Neumann. When asked about his wife’s opinion on one of his mathematical theories, he famously replied, “My wife doesn’t understand mathematics.

She doesn’t even understand my incomprehensible papers. Why should I expect her to understand my incomprehensible lectures?”

This joke led some people to wonder if there was something inherently sexist about the field of game theory. After all, if even John von Neumann’s wife couldn’t understand his work, how could anyone else be expected to?

The Answer

So does game theory have a “wife”? The answer is no. The idea that game theory is somehow inherently sexist or exclusionary is simply not true.

While it may be true that some individuals within the field have held discriminatory views in the past (as with many fields), there is nothing inherent about game theory itself that promotes sexism or discrimination. In fact, many women have made significant contributions to the field of game theory over the years.


In conclusion, the idea that game theory has a “wife” is nothing more than a silly joke. While it is true that some individuals within the field may hold discriminatory views, there is nothing inherent about game theory itself that promotes sexism or exclusion. As with any field, it is important to be aware of and address any issues of discrimination or bias, but we should not let these issues detract from the important contributions that game theory has made to our understanding of decision-making and strategic thinking.