Max Bramel

Dr. Max Bramel, Penn State Mont Alto professor in psychology, will demonstrate how game theory research can provide insight and solutions to social dilemmas.

Image: Penn State

Game theory research is topic of Penn State Mont Alto Colloquy Series talk

MONT ALTO, Pa. ― Penn State Mont Alto will host a Colloquy Series talk from 12:20 to 1:10 p.m. on Feb. 8 in the Heritage Room of The Millstream Café. Michael (Max) Bramel, Penn State Mont Alto professor in psychology, will present “Finding Our Way Out of Social Dilemmas.” The talk is free and open to the public.

Colloquy Series talks present current research by Mont Alto faculty in an informal environment at a level that is accessible to a general audience. Coffee is provided and discussion is encouraged.

During his talk, Bramel will present examples of social dilemmas, demonstrate how game theory research data illustrates the typical progression of social dilemmas, and offer solutions to social dilemmas as suggested by research.

“One line of social psychology research has examined social dilemmas — situations in which members of a group make decisions as individuals regarding the management of common resources,” said Bramel. 

“They tend to maximize their gains as individuals by choosing selfishly rather than cooperatively. However, if too many individuals choose selfishly, the group — and all of its members — will do worse than if everyone had behaved cooperatively. For example, a commercial fisherman does best by catching as many fish as possible. But if too many fish are caught, the stocks cannot adequately repopulate, the population crashes, and fishing is no longer commercially viable,” he explained.

For more information, contact Debra Collins, director of public relations and marketing, at 717-749-6112 or dlc43@psu.edu.