A trio of researchers at Zhejiang University in China has found a way for players to improve their odds of winning when playing the hand game rock-paper-scissors. In their paper they've uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, the researchers describe a field study they undertook with a large crowd of volunteers and how it revealed the secret.
Scientists in many fields have studied game theory for thousands of years, some to gain military or social advantage, others to better understand human psychology. One game stands out, the hand game rock-paper-scissors, likely because of its simplicity, and because it can be used to make group decisions. Plus, it's universal, requiring no language skills or preconceived social notions—therein lies its inherent beauty. Also, it's supposed to be fair, with every player having a 1 in 3 chance of winning any given round. Prior research has suggested that such odds are the case, but now, it appears the experts may have been wrong. In this new effort, the team in China has found that due to human emotion and decision-making strategy, there is a way to better the odds when playing.
Via Alin Velea