This article discusses how people’s behavior in society is associated with a Nash equilibrium in which “nobody would be better off deviating to a different feasible plan of behavior, given others’ plans.” The outcome of decent behavior shows an outcome of a good Nash equilibria. In class, we discussed how the outcome of a nash equilibrium may be influenced by many factors, especially the players involved in the equilibrium. An excellent example is given in this article in relation to how society behaves.
According to Douglas Zare, he explained that bad behavior is to be expected from the Nash equilibria; however, the psychological and social perspective of behavior has not been taken into consideration. Yet, good behavior observed in nice societies may not even come from the Nash equilibrium such that it is recognized as “odd behavior.” Some people use avoidance in order to not do bad things and others choose to go against those temptations because they know they should not do those things.
“In economics, we infer people’s preferences from what they do. So if people have a consistent pattern of behavior in which they don’t deviate from social norms, we infer that’s in their interests, given everyone else’s patterns of behavior. And that’s exactly the definition of a Nash equilibrium. This makes things a little tautological, as you’ve probably noticed, but that doesn’t have to be a problem.”
I find this interesting considering the application of the Nash equilibrium was used for human behavior and that there were so many influences discussed which contributed to the outcome itself.