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Here's how to win at rock-paper-scissors

Two players compete at the first international Rock, Paper, Scissors Championships in Beijing, China in 2008 – AP photos
Two players compete at the first international Rock, Paper, Scissors Championships in Beijing, China in 2008 – AP photos
Here's how to win at rock-paper-scissors
Staff report
Staff report
Most everyone has played rock-paper-scissors. The game is used to choose up sides, or see who goes first or determine who gets the last piece of cake. Now a study finds that people actually fall into patterns. Led by researchers at Zhejiang University in China, the study recruited 360 students, who played 300 rounds of the game.

According to the study, people who won the first round were more likely to stick with the same action. Those who lost switched to the next action in a clockwise direction (rock switches to paper, paper switches to scissors, scissors switches to rock).

As a savvy player, you can use that knowledge to your advantage if you lose. For example, if your opponent beats your rock with paper, they’re likely to choose paper the next game, so you should go with scissors.

This follows the basic theory that humans tend to stick with a winning strategy, the MIT Technology Review reports. As a player, your best bet is to resist that urge and go for a completely random object each time.

Critical thinking challenge: What does this study say about human behavior? Do humans prefer variety or consistency?


- Posted on May 2, 2014
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I think this is really cool because it's kinda interesting to know that if we win the first time we will pick the same thing again.

This study shows that humans are more likely to always stick with what works. i hear all the time why change? it has worked for the last 4 years or something along those lines. Which quite frankly i am that way to. I like to stick with what works and do it the same until i can't anymore. i think most humans like to stay consistent. We like to stick with same hair products, same stores, habits, etc.. As for our human behavior this study just proves we like to stay with the same thing that works.

I think this article is pretty cool. Now I can play my brothers and beat them, so I can watch what I want to watch on the tv!. How long have they been researching this game for, what's the purpose for researching it?

The nature of the game, rock-paper-scissors, is a game based on variety, and was not created in the spirit of sameness. Humans are creatures, who without variety, and with the absolute presence of sameness, feel threatened, and constricted. Humans need variety in every thing they do. humans need a variety of food, games, levels, pictures, books, movies, television shows, colors, activities, anything! The point is humans crave variety in all the things they engage in. Consistency, psychologically, leads to a happier life. Studies were conducted to see how variety affected the overall happiness of those who made choices. People with more variety, and different choices, always felt like something else would have been better. While, people with two choices felt more satisfied with their choice. People who live consistent lives, are simple, less incredible people, who settle for a consistent, sameness each and every day. Those who incorporate more choice in their life have better options, more opportunities, skills, tastes, strengths, and weaknesses, that were all discovered through this aspect of variety. As opposed to a consistent person (Indecisive Ian), who has less skills, and development because they never gave themselves a chance to adapt, and grow. People not only have a lustful craving for variety, but are more achieved when allowed the chance.

It shows that the human brain prefers consistency over variety. If we win, the human brain will suggest that we do the same thing to win again. However, if we lose, we will go in a cycle to the next hand symbol. And, I believe that this is very accurate. When I play rock, paper, scissors, I usually go in a certain order when I play. That means that I am always constant with the moves I make.

This study says that people in the first round are more likely to stick with the same action. This shows that humans prefer consistency by doing the same actions.

This articles says that winning this game, even if it's really easy to play, is really simple. I think humans prefer variety because if you stick with the same move, you'll lose because the other people will catch on.

This study shows that humans prefer consistency over variety. It is more likely that when a person do something right, like winning a round of rock, paper, scissor, they are going to repeat the action because it was successful. If someone loses then they would change their action so they can try to win. It seems as if the game is a little random but the study does seem logical.

This study of human behavior says that we tend to go in a pattern. We prefer consistancy but it sometimes doesnt work.

I think this article is very interesting because of the topic. I didnt even know that we tend to go in a pattern because I couldnt tell. It also suprises me that people took the time and effort into studying and experiment with a topic like this. I'd like to test this myself and see if it works.