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Asymmetric information

In game theory (a branch of economics), the asymmetry of information available to participants in a game affects the players' strategies and final outcome. Asymmetric information refers to the imbalance of information distribution/allocation.

It occurred to me that my readers know a lot more about me than I know about them. Updating this journal is like broadcasting myself. Why would anyone want to give away information? Why would anyone want to be in the weak position of asymmetric information?

Having less information than other participants in a game (which refers to any situation where there is interaction, conflict, competition, and negotiation) can work against you.

When two people meet for the first time, whether face to face or in cyberspace, they give out information whether deliberately or unknowingly. Consider the following exchange:

"Where do you go during public holidays?" he asks.

"I fly somewhere exotic," she replies.

"How often do you go away?"

"I don't."

"But I thought you said, you fly somewhere exotic."

"Oh! What I mean is --- I go home. Home is exotic. I don't go away."

The person asking the question might have thought he obtained a lot of information. Had the girl not clarified, he might have assumed she is pretty affluent to be able to go somewhere exotic.

We are always sending messages, whether we know it or not. Such signaling gives asymmetric information.

I am signaling to you that I am preoccupied with the nuances of communication as I type this. I don't know anything about you. But then, you don't know what else I do all day long.

25 May 2004 Tuesday

Related entries & links:
Types of analysis for gaming
Chapter 8 Number of decision makers
Valentine spoofing
Spades against hearts
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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