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Behavioral Mathematics for Game AI by Dave Mark

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6. Rational vs. Irrational Behavior

One of the problems that von Neumann and others had with their application of game theory was the expectation that people behave rationally and, in doing so, will always attempt to select the best outcome. As we saw from some of the examples in Chapter 5, this is not always the case. Often, people either fail to select the best option or even elect not to for whatever reason. The result is the reason for such a difference between normative decision theory and descriptive decision theory. In that gap lies a whole lot of irrational behavior.

Of course, trying to figure out what those behaviors are is a bit of a knotty problem. Computers are good at figuring out the rational answers. Coming up with an irrational ...

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