Rock-paper-scissors, known as RPS, is often thought of as a simple game that people play to determine who gets to go first, who has to clean the dishes, or who gets the last slice of pizza. However, RPS probabilities can have a surprising impact on decision-making in daily life.
The game involves three hand gestures – rock, paper, and scissors – which each beat one and lose to the other. Rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper, and paper beats rock. The probabilities of winning or losing in RPS are equal, with each player having a 33.3% chance of winning, losing, or tying.
At first glance, it may seem that RPS probabilities do not have much relevance to daily life. However, studies have shown that people subconsciously use RPS probabilities to make decisions in a variety of situations.
One study found that people tend to choose scissors first in RPS because they perceive it as the least commonly used gesture, and therefore, the least expected. This strategy can also be applied in real-life decision-making. For example, if you are playing a game of chance with others and are given the option to pick a number between 1 and 10, choosing an uncommon number may give you a higher chance of winning.
In another study, researchers found that the winner of the first round of RPS tends to repeat their previous gesture for the next round, while the loser tends to switch to the gesture that would have beaten their previous choice. This pattern can also be observed in daily life decision-making. For example, if you are trying to negotiate a deal with someone, and they make an offer that you accept, they may be more likely to offer a similar deal in the future, while you may be more likely to ask for a better deal.
RPS probabilities can also impact decision-making in group settings. In a group of three people, RPS can be used to determine who should take on a task, such as presenting a project or taking a turn in a game. By using RPS, no one person is favored over another, and the decision is based solely on chance, which can promote fairness and equality.
Overall, RPS probabilities may seem insignificant, but they can have surprising impacts on decision-making in daily life. By understanding these probabilities and how they can be applied, people can make better decisions in various situations, from negotiating deals to determining who should take on a task in a group setting. So, the next time you play a game of RPS, remember that the strategies you use can also be applied to everyday decision-making.