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Game Theory and the Election


As election season has come and gone, the political climate remains in a very heated state of activity. Republicans and Democrats alike still are trying to find out as to why Hillary Clinton lost to President Trump. Many political scientists have written intricate papers and essays about their reasoning of what happened in November but there are two sides to every story. However, this article seeks to try and understand the election results using a more bi-partisan tool, game theory. The human cooperation laboratory at Yale took more interest on ‘behavior’ rather than perception or political affiliation. The game theory scenario that they did a study on was a trade-off between the person’s self-interest and helping others.

In the first game, one person, a ‘helper’, is given 30 cents and has the ability to gift it to another player; the helper also is given the ability to have the amount that he will lose if he chooses to gift it disclosed, and then give make a decision.

After the fact, the second game is composed of a ‘truster’ who is given 30 cents as well; but this person has the ability to gift an amount of money from the 30 cents to the helper; any gift to the helper is tripled. However, the ‘truster’ must have trust that the helper will return the profits. Helpers who agree to help without looking at the amount are trusted more by the ‘truster’, thus getting more money invested to them.

This blind trust is a characteristic that President Trump exemplified during the campaign through his very direct and random thought process and actions. Hillary Clinton’s persona was not taken well because she is calculating in order to achieve the best for her.


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September 2017