Games and Decisions: Introduction and Critical Survey

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Courier Corporation, 1957 - Games - 509 pages
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"The best book available for non-mathematicians." — Contemporary Psychology.
This book represents the earliest clear, detailed, precise exposition of the central ideas and results of game theory and related decision-making models — unencumbered by technical mathematical details. It offers a comprehensive, time-tested conceptual introduction, with a social science orientation, to a complex of ideas related to game theory including decision theory, modern utility theory, the theory of statistical decisions, and the theory of social welfare functions.
The first three chapters provide a general introduction to the theory of games including utility theory. Chapter 4 treats two-person, zero-sum games. Chapters 5 and 6 treat two-person, nonzero-sum games and concepts developed in an attempt to meet some of the deficiencies in the von Neumann-Morgenstern theory. Chapters 7–12 treat n-person games beginning with the von Neumann-Morgenstern theory and reaching into many newer developments. The last two chapters, 13 and 14, discuss individual and group decision making. Eight helpful appendixes present proofs of the famous minimax theorem, several geometric interpretations of two-person zero-sum games, solution procedures, infinite games, sequential compounding of games, and linear programming.
Thought-provoking and clearly expressed, Games and Decisions: Introduction and Critical Survey is designed for the non-mathematician and requires no advanced mathematical training. It will be welcomed by economists concerned with economic theory, political scientists and sociologists dealing with conflict of interest, experimental psychologists studying decision making, management scientists, philosophers, statisticians, and a wide range of other decision-makers. It will likewise be indispensable for students in courses in the mathematical theory of games and linear programming.

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About the author (1957)

Howard Raiffa was born in the Bronx, New York on January 24, 1924. He was attending City College when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, where he was a radar specialist. He received a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1946, a master's degree in statistics, and a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He taught at Columbia University from 1952 to 1957 and then joined the faculty of the business school at Harvard University. He was a co-founder of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard (now the Harvard Kennedy School). He was a member of the university faculty for 37 years before retiring in 1994. He pioneered what became known as decision science - a discipline that encompasses negotiating techniques, conflict resolution, risk analysis, and game theory. He was the author of 11 books including Games and Decisions: Introduction and Critical Survey written with R. Duncan Luce, Applied Statistical Decision Theory written with Robert Schlaifer, The Art and Science of Negotiation: How to Resolve Conflicts and Get the Best Out of Bargaining, Decision Analysis: Introductory Lectures on Choices Under Uncertainty, and Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions written with John S. Hammond and Ralph L. Keeney. He died from Parkinson's disease on July 8, 2016 at the age of 92.

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