Is there a method involved in rock paper scissors?IntroductionWhen trying to settle an argument that cannot be solved logically, the first thing I always turn to is a nice game of rock, paper, scissors. While most view the probability of winning rock paper scissors as a simple 1 in 3, other studies suggest that it is more complicated than that. Studies reveal that people do not play randomly, in fact they follow hidden patterns that you can predict to win more games. So this opens up the question: is solving your problems using rock paper scissors the most efficient way to test fate with your luck or is it more complex than that?In this investigation I will challenge classmates to a game of rock paper scissors. To test the participant’s conditional response, I will choose rock every time and watch to see the subject’s responses. I will then use conditional probability to determine whether or not there is a method involved in winning the game. Conditional probability is the probability of an event given that another has already occurred. Conditional probability is the perfect tool to determine whether or not winners typically throw the same thing or if losers generally change their throw up. I chose the probability of rock paper scissors because it is a topic that I have always been fascinated with. I have always enjoyed working with probability because I like feeling like I am predicting the future. I chose the game rock paper scissors because I thought it would be a fun, interactive game that I could involve my classmates on. I also have a strong interest in whether or not the game is totally random or if there is a method behind it. If there is a method, I am determined to find out what it is. Background In case you were never faced with a dilemma on the school playground that could only be solved through a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, let me just inform you on how the game works. On a signal, two players make one of three hand gestures: rock (a fist), paper (an open hand, facedown, with fingers together), or scissors (a partial fist with the index and middle finger extended). Rock breaks scissors, scissors cut paper, and paper covers rock. In other words, rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper, and paper beats rock. This results in a winner. When the two people choose the same thing, it’s a tie and they just redo it. While this game is often considered a game of “chance” and “luck,” multiple studies have proved otherwise. The grid below shows the possible outcomes for this game. A study out of China by Zhihian Wang at Zhejiang University recognizes Rock-Paper-Scissors as a game of psychology more than chance. He argues that it makes it possible to exploit your opponent’s predictable patterns. Zhijan used 360 students and divided them into 60 different groups. In each group, the players played 300 rounds of Rock-Paper-Scissors against each other. The winners were paid per victory. The results of the study found that the players in all the groups chose each action about one-third of the time- as if it were random. Taking a closer look at behavior uncovers a strategy called “conditional response.” This strategy includes winners sticking with the action that leads to their success. For example, if you win with paper then you will attempt to use paper again. Losers tend to change their strategy and move to the next action in the sequence. If they lose with paper and you played scissors, then they will play scissors next. There also may be hidden meanings behind your opponent’s choice. The rock is a more aggressive approach so players subconsciously think of rock as a weapon and will use it as a go-to when other strategies are failing. Scissors represent some aggression and are often used when someone is feeling confident. Paper is the subtlest move and is often not used when one is falling behind as it subconsciously symbolizes weakness. AimTo test this theory, I am going to conduct a study using ten participants. I will then play a game of rock paper scissors with them that is best two out of three where I continuously choose rock without their knowing. According to this theory, if the player wins first with paper, it is more likely that they will throw paper the second time. If the player loses with scissors, they are more likely to change their answer. Another popular theory behind how to win at rock paper scissors is that men generally stick with throwing rocks as it is more masculine and rougher than throwing scissors or paper. In order to test this theory, I will play rock paper scissors with a total of ten random guys. During this study, I will consistently throw paper to watch as the results vary. I will then determine the probability for each person of their throwing a rock, then paper, then scissors. This information can be then used in your next round of rock, paper, scissors with a male to attempt to anticipate their throws. Results After testing 10 participants, I collected the following data: Subject 1SPPSubject 2PPSubject 3RPPSubject 4 RRPPSubject 5 PSRPSubject 6 SPRPSubject 7SPPSubject 8 SPRPSubject 9 PSRPSubject 10PP Out of ten throws, the probability of the subject sticking with their winning throw is 6 out of ten, or 60%. The probability of the subject changing their throw after losing one round is 7 out of ten, or 70%. These results give insight to the psychology behind the theory and prove the theory to be correct. Through observing the data, it can be concluded that if you are in a game of rock paper scissors and lose the first round with your scissors and your opponent’s rock, it is logical to anticipate that your opponent’s next move will be a rock as they are feeling confident. If you win the first round of the game with throwing a paper while your opponent throws a rock, it is safe to assume that the next move that your opponent will make will be scissors in anticipation that you will make the same move that you just made. These facts will be key tools in assisting you to win every game of rock paper scissors. The results of this study are as follows: Male 1RSSMale 2RPRMale 3RRMale 4 PRSSMale 5PRRMale 6 RRMale 7RSRMale 8 PRPMale 9 RPSSMale 10RPR Out of the ten rounds, there are a total of thirty throws. The probability of the male choosing rock is 16/30 or 53%, the probability of the male choosing paper is 7%, and the probability of the male choosing scissors is 7%. This information means that when playing against a male, it is important to understand the psychology behind each of the choices. The male is more likely to choose rock as it is a more aggressive, masculine choice. The other two choices are least likely. When playing against a male, it is safe to assume that choosing paper will result in winning more accurately.