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Tit-for-Tat in Life Coaching, Problem Solving and Game Theory

 

Game theory is a way of determining the best choices available to you based on what the likely behavior will be of others that you must interact with. It is an important tool for decision making-problem solving, and even predict future events.

One of the most common concepts used in Harrison’s Applied Game Theory, my approach to these ideas is known as Tit-for-tat. This is how it works.

Often times a player must continue in a cooperative relationship with a cheater or another player who does not reciprocate the way it was assumed they would. In such a situation a skilled player must strategize to maintain the reciprocal relationship while making sure they receive the future benefits they are expecting or deserve.  Such a strategy is known as Tit-for-tat*.  Tit-for-tat Theory describes a type of reciprocal altruism where an agent (an individual, group, player or some other living creature) will initially cooperate, then respond in kind to another’s previous actions whether such behavior is cooperative or uncooperative. A skilled game thinker will describe this in specialized game language as a “game-theory mechanism which is subject to a payoff matrix similar to that of a prisoner’s dilemma.”

Let’s explore this game language description in greater depth. In a game where there can be more than one winner, it may be said that the participants in a Tit-for-tat process are partners in a mutually beneficial process. In Tit-for-tat behavior, there is an assumption that the players (agents) in the game (interaction) will be mutually – sometimes alternately — cooperative. Here are a few thoughts to consider when exploring this concept:

  • In a particular point in a game, one of the players (known as parties or agents) in the interaction may cease to act in a cooperative manner.
  • When this lack of cooperation is discovered, the other player (agent) will cease cooperating as well.

This concept of Tit-for-tat is not limited to humans but exists in the plant and animal kingdom as well.  It is often studied in the field of evolutionary biology. With humans, Tit-for-tat behavior is also known as “super-rationality” in biology, zoology and other related disciplines.

In a way Tit-for-tat is nothing more than “equivalent retaliation*” an idea first introduced by Anatol Rapoport and Robert Axelrod around 1980.

There are four key elements that make Tit-for-tat so effective in social relationships;  and in both cooperative and uncooperative games. This is especially so in relationships where competition and hierarchal behavior is involved.

  1. The opposing player automatically cooperates unless provoked.
  2. When provoked, the player retaliates.
  3. Once they have retaliated the player quickly forgives and returns to a cooperative relationship.
  4. A player must have a good chance of cooperating again with the other player. The player must have a good chance of competing against the same opponent several times in order for the process to continue successfully.

Here is an interesting article on game theory sent to me by Stephanie Swafford a human potential leader and Polarity Therapy Practitioner and Teacher based n NYC.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-country-has-lost-its-mind-its-time-for-some-game-theory/2018/06/12/f8863076-6e77-11e8-bd50-b80389a4e569_story.html

 

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Lewis Harrison is the director of the professional Coaching Training Program at the International Association of Healing Professionals. – HealingAssociation.com

He is  founder of the RealUGuru Project Think Tank is a is a life coach, peak performance expert, writer, mentor, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and Game Thinking.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.

Don’t forget to tune to the RealUGuru Radio show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc.

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to study with Lewis Harrison. Begin by reading Lewis’ books.

If you are an entrepreneur you will want to begin with his books on game theory and business success.  Here are two basic ones to start with:

To learn more about game theory and game-based thinking you may want to begin with Lewis’ e-book.

Winning the Game of Life

http://realuguru.com/products/ebooks/winning-the-game-of-life-a-primer-on-lewis-harrisons-applied-game-theory/

 

The offerings on RealUGuru.com focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness, and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Lewis Harrison makes wellness and success career coaching accessible for everyone. He provides motivation, inspiration, information and support across many domains. He focuses on his client’s most important goals in a measurable, scalable, and measurable manner and offer coaching services for all levels of experience for consumers and business people. Lewis offers hard and soft tips, techniques, tools and strategies to help his clients  maximize their potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

 

This blog is sponsored by the New York City Chair Massage Company at  www.eventschairmassage.com, supplying stress management services to event and meeting planners for trade shows throughout the United States.