An Introduction to Game Theory & Strategic Thinking: A Free Course from Yale University

Taught by Ben Polak, an eco­nom­ics pro­fes­sor and now Provost at Yale Uni­ver­si­ty, this free course offers an intro­duc­tion to game the­o­ry and strate­gic think­ing. Draw­ing on exam­ples from eco­nom­ics, pol­i­tics, the movies and beyond, the lec­tures cov­er top­ics essen­tial to under­stand­ing Game theory–including “dom­i­nance, back­ward induc­tion, the Nash equi­lib­ri­um, evo­lu­tion­ary sta­bil­i­ty, com­mit­ment, cred­i­bil­i­ty, asym­met­ric infor­ma­tion, adverse selec­tion, and sig­nal­ing.”

Since Game The­o­ry offers “a way of think­ing about strate­gic sit­u­a­tions,” the course will “teach you some strate­gic con­sid­er­a­tions to take into account [when] mak­ing your choic­es,” and “to pre­dict how oth­er peo­ple or orga­ni­za­tions [will] behave when they are in strate­gic set­tings.”

The 24 lec­tures can be streamed above. (They’re also on YouTube and iTunes in audio and video). A com­plete syl­labus can be found be on this Yale web site. Texts used in the course are the fol­low­ing:

Game The­o­ry will be added to our list of Free Eco­nom­ics Cours­es, a sub­set of our col­lec­tion, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon. If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.