Whether you’re a businessman, a statesman, a general, or a parent, you’re strategizing on a daily basis. So how do you do it better?
My guest today will provide some insights. His name is Barry Nalebuff. He’s a game theory expert and the author of The Art of Strategy: A Game Theorist’s Guide to Success in Business and Life. On the show Barry and I discuss how game theory can help you make better strategic decisions in all sorts of situations. We explore why threatening to punish your child’s sibling for bad behavior might be a more effective strategy than threatening to punish the child himself, what Donald Trump can teach us about the promise and perils of injecting randomness into your strategy, and how you can use game theory against yourself to lose weight or even quit smoking.
- What strategy is, and why even the average Joe needs to understand game theory
- How strategy isn’t just about competition, but cooperation
- A brief history of game theory
- The different domains one must call upon to take part in game theory
- How you know you’re in a strategic game (and how Obamacare is a practice in game theory)
- The difference between sequential and simultaneous games and how to strategize for both
- How game theory can help football coaches determine whether to go for a 2-point conversion
- How to avoid prisoner’s dilemmas in your life
- How to avoid the Tragedy of the Commons
- How to change the game when the game you’re in isn’t working out for you
- Why you should avoid tit-for-tat strategies
- How scam artists use game theory to con people
- What is the Nash Equilibrium?
- When and how to inject randomness into your strategy
- How to use game theory against yourself for improvement
- How to use game theory to discipline your kids
- And much more!
Resources/Studies/People Mentioned in Podcast
- The Odyssey
- A Beautiful Mind
- Game theory
- John Nash
- John von Neumann
- My podcast with Caroline Webb about how behavioral science can improve your life
- The Market for Lemons
- Sequential game
- Simultaneous game
- Decision trees
- The Prisoner’s Dilemma
- Golden Balls
- The Tragedy of the Commons
- The Tit for Tat Trap
- My podcast with Maria Konnikova about con artists
If you want to become a better strategist in life or simply want to understand the basics of game theory, pick up a copy of Barry’s book The Art of Strategy. Also, check out his personal site for more information about his work.
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
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And thanks to Creative Audio Lab in Tulsa, OK for editing our podcast!
Read the Transcript