Communication games and how they structure #4

Previously I mentioned ego states and how they can influence and shape relationships and teams. Depending on the participating ego states, the games we engage in can have multiple variations. These are derived from the unique traits of every person manifests. The modalities I cannot really talk about in a blog post, as the topic itself is too big. We can, however, use some help from game theory applied to  communication games.

How is this a communication game?

Before the advantages of using a mix between these two concepts become clear, I would like to state that I am only talking about the practical aspect of this mix. Theory is something we cannot easily combine into one body of work, but we can surely play out some scenarios for how different theories complement each other.

Within the domain of game theory, the first distinction we can make is between non-cooperative and cooperative games. Although the definition looks simple:

In game theory, a non-cooperative game is one in which players make decisions independently. Thus, while players could cooperate, any cooperation must be self-enforcing. (W.)

– it is not. Takeaway here would be that any cooperation must be beneficial to both sides, as otherwise you would need a third-party to settle, or guarantee, for the rules and regulations of the cooperation. Switching back to organizational psychology and recruitment, we can see how an interview, or an application process, starts out as a non-cooperative game, but can quickly turn into one. It is deceitfully fast, sometimes, due to the official turning point being a contract.

Do non-cooperative game strategies differ from cooperative ones? Not all of them do. To elaborate on the deceitfully fast part, a common strategy would be to shorten the distance between you and your communication partner without offering a result of the game (a payoff) just yet. This would keep them guessing, thus leaving them prone to influence, or making sure they do try different negotiation tactics.

 

 

Photo by wilhei

 

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