All of us, it is true, wouldn’t have survived long enough to be doing this training if we hadn’t been successfully using various strategies for many years.
There are many kinds of strategies including strategies to win, strategies for revenge, strategies to lose, strategies to co-operate, strategies to hide and strategies to sacrifice and strategies to show off.
Today I just want to draw your attention to the simple question of: How do I choose a strategy?
Remember, in gameworld, a player’s only strategy is to maximise his or her payoff. So, the way to choose a strategy is to look for a dominant strategy.
What is a dominant strategy?
A dominant strategy is one that you should play, regardless of what the other player does.
A dominant strategy is a strategy that gives you a higher payoff than all of your other strategies, regardless of what your opponent does.
The opposite of a dominant strategy is a strictly stupid strategy. A strictly stupid strategy always gives you a lower payoff than some other strategy, regardless of what your opponent does.
A strictly stupid strategy is a strategy that gives you a lower payoff than at least one of your other available strategies, regardless of what your opponent does.
Just to test your understanding of dominant strategies, let me ask you this: Is stopping at a red light and going on a green light a dominant strategy?
No. Not in itself. In fact, you only want to use that strategy if other drivers are doing the same. If you happened to be in a place where everyone went on the red and stopped on the green then, to maximise your payoff, you would want to do the same. Further, if in this strange place, everyone was intent on drinking contaminated water you would be best off not following the crowd and their custom. Avoiding contaminated water is a dominant strategy: you should do it regardless of what other people do.
Read this lesson once again and pay attention to the definitions of dominant and strictly stupid strategies.
Think about them and then:
1 • Describe a situation where you deliberately chose a dominant strategy.
2 • Describe a situation where you once chose a strictly stupid strategy.