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Researchers Investigating Why People Win or Lose at Games

By - Source: University of Manchester | B 33 comments
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Researchers have spent some time to find out more on the causes of why someone may win a game and someone else loses.

Typically, the answer we believe to be right is based on the equilibrium point. The more we understand a game and the more we achieve "perfect knowledge of what [we] are doing and of what [our] opponents are doing" the higher our chances of winning.

Applied to a simple game that consists of only a few moves, we can easily figure out the optimal strategy to win. The more factors and choices are introduced, the more difficult a game is to understand and our decisions actions become less rational.

However, Tobias Galla from The University of Manchester and Doyne Farmer from Oxford University and the Santa Fe Institute suggest that "Equilibrium is not always the right thing you should look for in a game", simply because "people do not play equilibrium strategies."

"Instead what they do can look like random or chaotic for a variety of reasons, so it is not always appropriate to base predictions on the equilibrium model," Galla explained. The scientists compared the gaming model to financial markets where traders have virtually unlimited choices and face the ultimate complexity of a game, which currently assumes that traders are infinitely intelligent and rational - and that an equilibrium point exists.

"With trading on the stock market, for example, you can have thousands of different stock to choose from, and people do not always behave rationally in these situations or they do not have sufficient information to act rationally," Galla said. "This can have a profound effect on how the markets react."

Galla noted that their initial findings indicate that an increasing number of players reduces the chance of an equilibrium. "It could be that we need to drop these conventional game theories and instead use new approaches to predict how people might behave."

 

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  • 27 Hide
    bluegold316 , January 27, 2013 9:48 AM
    The person who lose is a noob! end of research! :D 
  • 24 Hide
    neon neophyte , January 27, 2013 11:52 AM
    our education system is seriously failing here. three people already misspelled "lose" as "loose." it hurts my brain.
  • 20 Hide
    bustapr , January 27, 2013 10:03 AM
    its not appropriate to compare reactions in the stock market to reactions in games. in stocks you are more cautious since theres a real world loss and you dont have a real opponent trying to beat you. In games you take much more chances since theres no consequences in real life and theres always an opponent trying to beat you within minutes or seconds.

    theres no real way to tell why you lose or win a game since its impossible to predict another persons mood, personalities, and risks, regardless of the skill level. this researcher is going to waste time and money only to come to the conclusion that you cant tell why a person wins or loses games.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    MatildaPersson , January 27, 2013 9:23 AM
    Well that's all very... dumb.
  • 27 Hide
    bluegold316 , January 27, 2013 9:48 AM
    The person who lose is a noob! end of research! :D 
  • 3 Hide
    tlg , January 27, 2013 9:54 AM
    noobs loose, pros win, how obvious!
  • 20 Hide
    bustapr , January 27, 2013 10:03 AM
    its not appropriate to compare reactions in the stock market to reactions in games. in stocks you are more cautious since theres a real world loss and you dont have a real opponent trying to beat you. In games you take much more chances since theres no consequences in real life and theres always an opponent trying to beat you within minutes or seconds.

    theres no real way to tell why you lose or win a game since its impossible to predict another persons mood, personalities, and risks, regardless of the skill level. this researcher is going to waste time and money only to come to the conclusion that you cant tell why a person wins or loses games.
  • 14 Hide
    cookoy , January 27, 2013 10:12 AM
    if they just focused their research on why people win or lose at the stock market, that will be more rewarding
  • 13 Hide
    memadmax , January 27, 2013 10:58 AM
    Well....
    Someone had to justify their tax funded research grant SOMEHOW!

    >_>
  • 11 Hide
    blubbey , January 27, 2013 11:00 AM
    People win because they understand what they're doing. People lose because they don't. E.g. Ninja Gaiden (and NG Black). That game was supposedly one of the more difficult games of its generation (gen 6 - Xbox/PS2/GC/DC). People were bad at the game because from what I've seen they didn't understand the mechanics of the opponents, the mechanics of your character or the environment (as a general rule) for example not blocking, button mashing instead of knowing which moves to use and when, not knowing opponents moves and how to counter them. Know how to do that then you can beat it. That goes for pretty much everything. If you know what to do then you can win. Obviously the more complex it is the harder it is to understand and the more difficult it is to win.
  • 2 Hide
    digiex , January 27, 2013 11:28 AM
    Make more mistake than the opponent then you loose.
  • 14 Hide
    techcurious , January 27, 2013 11:50 AM
    Great.. in the not too distant future:
    Can't win at the game you are playing? We've got a pill for that!
  • 24 Hide
    neon neophyte , January 27, 2013 11:52 AM
    our education system is seriously failing here. three people already misspelled "lose" as "loose." it hurts my brain.
  • 3 Hide
    Haserath , January 27, 2013 11:58 AM
    All your bases are belong to us.

    gg
  • 0 Hide
    manofchalk , January 27, 2013 12:10 PM
    And once we come up with these more accurate and efficient models of how the stock market will react, suddenly everyone has that capability. The relative difficulty of the stock market wont change.
  • 0 Hide
    neon neophyte , January 27, 2013 12:12 PM
    once we have models predicting how the stock market reacts, we'll need models that predict how the stock market will react to our predictions. then we'll need a model for how the stock market will react to the predictions of how the stock market will react to our predictions *head explodes*
  • 6 Hide
    excella1221 , January 27, 2013 12:17 PM
    Didn't know it took a genius to figure this out. :p 
  • 0 Hide
    Dangi , January 27, 2013 12:40 PM
    That's easy
    If they loose against me is beacuse they are noobs
    If they win against me is beacuse they are cheaters-hackers
  • 12 Hide
    neon neophyte , January 27, 2013 12:59 PM
    the word is "lose." for the love of everything, "lose." it is in the damn title of the article ffs.
  • 5 Hide
    Shin-san , January 27, 2013 1:13 PM
    Usually it's "The more you play, the better you are at a game"
  • -4 Hide
    orionite , January 27, 2013 1:56 PM
    Quote:
    Well that's all very... dumb.
    ... and most other posters here. Of course you are absolutely right. Game theory? What a load of bull. No idea why nobel prizes are handed out for something as dumb as this, especially as they have no relation to real life... You people sure make it easy to be an elitist prick.
  • 13 Hide
    Kami3k , January 27, 2013 2:34 PM
    A better study, and far more useful, would be to go into detail on why people don't know the difference between loose and lose...
  • 1 Hide
    kitekrazy1963 , January 27, 2013 2:41 PM
    orionite... and most other posters here. Of course you are absolutely right. Game theory? What a load of bull. No idea why nobel prizes are handed out for something as dumb as this, especially as they have no relation to real life... You people sure make it easy to be an elitist prick.


    A lot would have to be who is doing the funding. If this is on a tax payer's dime=very dumb.
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