This Course at MIT

This Course at MIT pages provide context for how the course materials published on OCW were used at MIT. They are part of the OCW Educator initiative, which seeks to enhance the value of OCW for educators.

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 14.11 Insights from Game Theory into Social Behavior as it was taught by Dr. Moshe Hoffman and Dr. Erez Yoeli in Fall 2013.

This course applies insights from game theory to explain human social behavior, focusing on novel applications which have heretofore been the realm of psychologists and philosophers—for example, why people speak indirectly, in what sense beauty is socially constructed, and where our moral intuitions come from—and eschewing traditional economic applications such as industrial organization or auctions.

We will employ standard games such as the prisoner's dilemma, coordination, hawk-dove, and costly signaling, and use standard game theory tools such as Nash Equilibria, Subgame Perfection, and Perfect Bayesian Equilibria.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

For students to learn to see the social world through the lens of game theory. By the end of the course, students should have an understanding of experimental methods and evolutionary modeling.

 

Curriculum Information

Prerequisites

Requirements Satisfied

Offered

  • 14.11 is a topics course, and the focus of the course changes from semester to semester.

The Classroom

  • A photo of a classroom with five rows of tables and a blackboard at the front of the room.

    Lecture and Math TA Session

    Both lectures and math TA sessions were held in this room on the MIT campus.

 

Student Information

On average, about 75 students take this course each year.

Typical Student Background

  • A mix of majors and ages.
  • No background was required. The course involves some math and some programming, but there is lot of help for students who lack experience.
 
 

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

Lecture

3 hours per week
  • Met 2 times per week for 1.5 hours per session. 32 sessions total; mandatory attendance.
 

Out of Class

9 hours per week
 

Semester Breakdown

WEEK M T W Th F
1 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled.
2 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
3 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No classes throughout MIT.
4 No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
5 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
6 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
7 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
8 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
9 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
10 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
11 No classes throughout MIT. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
12 No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
13 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
14 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled.
15 No session scheduled. Lecture session; assignment due date. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT; assignment due date. No classes throughout MIT.
16 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
Displays the color and pattern used on the preceding table to indicate dates when classes are not held at MIT. No classes throughout MIT
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when lecture sessions are held. Lecture session
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when no class session is scheduled. No class session scheduled
Displays the symbol used on the preceding table to indicate dates when assignments are due. Assignment due date