STEAM Café: Despite Our Nature: Incentivizing Cooperation

Presented by Saurav Kumar Dubey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering

Generally, human beings tend to make decisions that maximize personal benefit. This concept of self-interest is considered in scientific modeling as the property of rationality. However, such decisions do not always lead to the best possible outcome. Sometimes, when people act in self-interest it can have a negative impact on the community or organization.

The focus of this informational talk will be to show that the analysis of real-world systems in the context of game theory provides researchers with the power of foresight and mitigation of human impulses with the assumption of rationality. Game theory is the study of mathematical models of strategic interaction between rational decision-makers. It has applications in all fields of social science, as well as in logic and operations research.

Based on an analytical depiction of the real world, researchers can suggest incentives to modify expected human behavior in order to achieve a better outcome. For instance, promoting cooperation when competition would lead to lower payoffs is an invaluable insight for the purpose of improved decision-making. This talk will explore ways science and engineering can help create systems and incentives that encourage people, or computer programs, to make decisions in favor of the community rather than self-interest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.