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Golden Balls: Splitting, Stealing, and Mastering Manipulation   During freshman year, a few of my friends took PSYCH 1101 and learned about a British game show called Golden Balls. I watched a few episodes with them and was instantly fascinated with the show. Golden Balls has two rounds where a pair of people work together to accumulate a pot […]

The Game Theory of the US-China Trade War One of the most pressing issues currently weighing on the United States economy is the trade war between China and the United States, initiated under President Donald Trump. A trade war, as discussed in Glenn Harrison and E.E. Rutström’s “Trade Wars, Trade Negotiations and Applied Game Theory” is clear example of game theory principles […]

Waze and Network Traffic These two articles describe the impact of the navigation app Waze in LA, a city famous for its traffic. When the Waze navigation app was first released in 2014, it shortened travel time by providing users with shortcuts through side streets, rather than using major roads to navigate LA. However, Waze’s novelty and […]

The Network of Apple Products This article is about the growing “ecosystem,” or network, that the company Apple has created. The argument the article makes is that Apple has, through time, built a bigger and bigger network of users by creating products that incentivize a single user to continue to amass Apple products. This same network also incentivizes non-users […]

Radicalization of Ideas Due to Echo Chamber The article explains how Youtube played a key role in radicalizing Brazil. Jair Bolsonaro, a barely known figure in national politics, was a star in Youtube’s far-right community in Brazil. Through Youtube, which is watched more than almost any TV network in Brazil, Bolsonaro was able to become President. Youtube’s recommendation algorithm helped trend […]

Braess’ Paradox in Reverse This article discusses the repercussions of the closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, a major highway, in Seattle. About 90,000 vehicles trekked the Viaduct every day, leading many to believe that traffic in the surrounding area would significantly worsen following its closure in January. However, despite all predictions, overall commute times in Seattle were […]

Understanding Educational Disparities as Networks

“Neighboring schools, worlds apart” discusses the stark differences that school environments can have on the success of its students in terms of both graduating college and high school. For instance, the article highlights one school in Newton, MA which is flourishing, having most of its students go on to some of the nation’s most elite […]

In Response to “Economic Scene; The Limits of Social Science

In “Economic Scene; The Limits of Social Science”, a New York Times article from 1982, author Leonard Silk brings up a “wave of pessimism” surrounding the seemingly unsolvable “social problems” of war, poverty, and disease. He brings up the power of evidence to counter doubts about the effectiveness of the social sciences in solving these […]

Structural balance emerges and explains performance in risky decision-making

We learned in class that social networks with positive and negative ties tend towards triads with one of two states of structural balance. One of these states has one positive tie and one negative tie, since two nodes can be friends with the same enemy. Another state has all positive ties, as three people can […]

The Game of Brexit

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s advisor Dominic Cummings is apparently a “fan of game theory.” Thus, people believe that he is attempting to use the principles of game theory to figure out a strategy for Brexit that will be most beneficial to the British people. However, some are worried that Cummings has misjudged this game […]

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