Love by the Numbers: Using Game Theory to Calculate Romantic Success

Love by the Numbers: Using Game Theory to Calculate Romantic Success

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Following up on last year’s Valentine’s Day post Would you Date an Economist?this year we’ll tackle the next step: how to predict the potential success of your relationship – using game theory. Once again, we’ve compiled a list of authors, researchers and scholars who have attempted to crack the code of love using numbers and logic.

1)    This Atlantic article discusses an app called Kahnoodle, which uses game theory to help couples keep a spark in their relationships.

2)    In this concise piece for the Huffington Post, the author uses well-crafted anecdotes to guide you through a game theory analysis of the quandaries of dating.

3)    This Science 2.0 article cites a study in the Journal of Theoretical Biology that uses game theory to explain why females opt for a long “courtship” period in order to weed out “bad” males.

4)    In this paper, philosopher Mark Colyvan argues that successful long-term relationships are in fact a result of narrow self-interest, all explained by game theory.

5)    In this piece for Psychology Today, evolutionary epistemologist Dr. Jeremy Sherman addresses the difficulty of a heartbreak-free breakup, and how game theory can help you achieve it.

6)    This post from the blog Ready to Be Caught delves into a specific strategy within game theory labeled “tit for tat”. Using examples and a step-by-step approach, the author gives advice on the most effect strategies in the game of attraction.

7)    In this post on the Mind Your Decisions blog, the author claims, “if you follow this advice, you’ll maximize your chance of finding true love.” Now there’s a reason to use game theory!

8)    Daily Beast editor Paula Szuchman gets down to the nitty gritty in this article based on her book It’s Not You, It’s the Dishes. By taking game theory into the realm of marriage, Szuchman discusses how to “achieve the best results possible” in a long-term relationship.

9)    Moving away from romantic love, this article from the journal Psychological Science uses game theory to suggest that “in-group love” is more likely to occur than “out-group hate” in intergroup conflict.

10) Finally, here is a video in which Yale professor Barry Nalebuff discusses the application of game theory to relationships and other aspects of life.

Now that you’re armed with all of this game theory-based relationship insight, we would like to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day!


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