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Theor Med Bioeth. 2011 Aug;32(4):245-58. doi: 10.1007/s11017-011-9175-z.

The relevance of Nash equilibrium to psychiatric disorders.

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Department of Economics, University of Athens, UADPhilEcon, Evripidou 14, 10559, Athens, Greece.


In game theory, the word 'game' is used to describe any interdependence between interacting parties, and the Nash equilibrium is a prominent tool for analysing such interactions. I argue that the concept of the Nash equilibrium may also be used in non-gaming contexts. An individual is in a Nash equilibrium if his or her beliefs are consistent with his or her actions. Given that discordance between beliefs and behaviour is a typical cause of psychiatric disorders, individuals who are not in a Nash equilibrium are likely to be affected by such disorders. In this regard, the concept of the Nash equilibrium could aptly be introduced into the medical practitioner's vocabulary for describing a patient's mental health status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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