Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: October 22, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956260 | Print ISBN: 9781412916523 | Online ISBN: 9781412956260| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Named after its inventor, John Nash (1928–), a Nash equilibrium is a combination of strategies—one for each player—such that each individual's strategy maximizes their payoff against the strategies of the other players. For example, the game in Figure 1 represents the barroom scene occurring during the “eureka” moment in Nash's biographical film, A Beautiful Mind . John and a rival can either approach a blonde or one of her friends. If both approach the blonde, they block each other; each receives a payoff of 0, as illustrated in the northwest cell. If John approaches the blonde and his rival a friend, John's payoff is 3 and his rival's is 1 (the northeast cell). The payoffs in this cell are circled because blonde maximizes John's payoff against the rival's strategy ...