How to: Make better decisions

How do you make a decision when you don't know what the other person is going to do? Dr Michalis Drouvelis' research is investigating why we make decisions that, in purely practical terms, don't just benefit ourselves.

Game theory unpicks the strategies we use in both games and everyday situations, ranging from what shape to play next in Rock, Paper, Scissors, to how to negotiate the price of a car or house.

The key to game theory is recognising that there are other players – we try to guess what they are doing, while they are trying to predict how we will act.

Michalis is exploring whether we are prepared to play differently so everyone wins. Are you a competitor or a cooperator? A new generation of both table-top and online games has shown an increase in cooperative play, where players work together to beat the game, rather than each other.

To find out more about Michalis's research, visit

Learn more about game theory with Professor Robin Mason, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) in Melbourne on 8 May 2018