The ups and downs of conflict: a game theory analysis of the toilet seat issue

The toilet conflict has its ups and downsAs a way to announce my return to blogging following a brief hiatus, I begin with a post that concerns one of the world’s most intractable conflicts (at least since the invention of indoor plumbing): the battle over the positioning of the toilet seat–up or down.

Now comes the study that all you gender-conscious game theorists have long been awaiting. From The Science Creative Quarterly is a paper addressing “The Social Norm of Leaving the Toilet Seat Down: A Game Theoretic Analysis“, which models the game as a non-cooperative one of conflict (which anyone in a multi-gender household can tell you is a fully accurate representation).

We can all hope that researchers may next examine another vexing problem: which way to hang the toilet paper–over or under.

(Thanks to Boing Boing.)

3 responses to “The ups and downs of conflict: a game theory analysis of the toilet seat issue

  1. Hey Diane, nice to see you back.

  2. This is why we miss you when you’re not blogging. Hilarity for the entire family! My husband (usually immune to blog-humor) is laughing at the screen of his laptop while I write this. The toilet seat in his bathroom is UP. The toiler seat in my bathroom is DOWN. This is the proper equilibrium.

  3. And what about the option of leaving the seat down and the cover as well? That way at least both will have to make an extra effort and noone will feel like it’s the only one doing something for the other.

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