# How Is Game Theory Used in Everyday Life?

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Jane Flores

Game theory is a mathematical framework that has been used for centuries to analyze the behavior of individuals and organizations in various settings. It is a branch of economics that studies how people make decisions and interact with each other in strategic situations, where each person’s outcome depends not only on their own actions but also on the actions of others.

While game theory was originally developed to model economic behavior, it has found applications in various fields such as political science, psychology, biology, and computer science. In fact, game theory is used extensively in everyday life without most people realizing it.

1. Negotiations

Negotiations are a classic example of a strategic interaction where the outcome depends on the actions of both parties. Game theory provides a framework for analyzing negotiations and predicting their outcomes. For instance, the famous “prisoner’s dilemma” game is often used to model negotiations between two parties who have conflicting interests.

Example:
Suppose two companies are negotiating over the price of a product. If they both agree to sell at a high price, they both make a profit.

If one agrees to sell at a low price while the other sells at a high price, the former makes more profit while the latter loses out. If they both agree to sell at a low price, they both make less profit than if they had agreed to sell at a high price.

In this scenario, game theory can be used to predict which option each company will choose based on their incentives and strategies.

2. Elections

Elections are another example of strategic interactions where each candidate’s outcome depends not only on their own actions but also on those of their opponents and voters. Game theory provides tools for analyzing elections and predicting their outcomes.

Example:
Suppose there are three candidates running for an office: A, B, and C. Each voter has one vote and can vote for any candidate. The winner is the candidate who gets the most votes.

In this scenario, game theory can be used to predict which candidate will win based on their strategies and the preferences of voters.

3. Social Interactions

Social interactions such as friendships, relationships, and cooperation are also strategic interactions where each person’s outcome depends on their own actions and those of others. Game theory provides a framework for analyzing social interactions and predicting their outcomes.

Example:
Suppose two friends are deciding whether to go to a party or stay at home. If they both decide to go to the party, they will have a good time together.

If one decides to stay at home while the other goes to the party, the former will miss out on a good time while the latter will have it. If they both decide to stay at home, they will not have a good time.

In this scenario, game theory can be used to predict which option each friend will choose based on their preferences and expectations.