Game Theory and the toilet seat

toilet seat Halloween costumeThe issue of whether the toilet seat should be left up or down after use seemingly generates a lot of passion among the parties concerned, however, scientific inquiries into the matter are almost non-existent.

Scientific analysis may not offer sufficient insight or support, or it might.

John Nash’s Game Theory [wiki] seems to be failing policy-centered Republican economics, and both urban and hill-country strategy at the Pentagon, and NHTSA’s gamble on hi-way infrastructure, but game theory can successfully help us ponder whether the toilet seat is either up or down.

A paper at The Science Creative Quarterly, in which, with respect to the name, I am as confused as both they and you, uses game theory to demonstrate that all hope is not lost.

This study will “show conclusively that the social norm of leaving the toilet seat down after use decreases welfare and by doing that we hope to convince the reader that social norms are not always welfare enhancing.”

The Social Norm of Leaving the Toilet Seat Down:
A Game Theoretical Analysis

There is a case for scientifically examining social norms and educating the masses about the fallacy of following social norms blindly. [via blort]

Stated simply at Wiki, you and I are in Nash’s game theory equilibrium if I am making the best decision I can, taking into account your decision, and you are making the best decision you can, taking into account my decision.

But in the case of the toilet seat, there’s a variation in Game Theory called the “Trembling Hand Perfect Equilibrium” [wiki] which takes into account that the players, through a “slip of the hand” or tremble, may choose unintended strategies that in the case of the toilet seat can affect all of mankind and womankind.