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Game Theory and the HumanitiesBridging Two Worlds$
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Steven J. Brams

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015226

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015226.001.0001

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Plays: Modeling Frustration and Anger

Plays: Modeling Frustration and Anger

(p.155) 7 Plays: Modeling Frustration and Anger
Game Theory and the Humanities

Steven J. Brams

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on the negative emotion of frustration, which arises from being “prevent[ed] from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire.”. It analyzes the generic Frustration Game, where a player’s lack of control takes the form of an “advantaged” player’s having a dominant strategy that inflicts the two worst outcomes on the frustrated player. In the generic Self-Frustration Game, it is the self-frustrated player who has the dominant strategy; the advantaged player does not, but this player’s best response to the self-frustrated player’s dominant strategy induces the self-frustrated player’s next-worst outcome. The chapter suggests that the theory of moves, which offers a rationale for players’ making dynamic choices in games, can rationally explain seemingly irrational choices. In the case of the generic Frustration and Self-Frustration Games, players express frustration when they threaten the opposing player and are forced to carry out the threat.

Keywords:   game theory, Frustration Game, Self-Frustration Game, game players, theory of moves

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