Hidden Games: how game theory explains irrational behaviour

Hosted by the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science

Online public event


Dr Moshe Hoffman

Dr Moshe Hoffman

Dr Erez Yoeli

Dr Erez Yoeli

Professor Nichola Raihani

Professor Nichola Raihani


Dr Michael Muthukrishna

Dr Michael Muthukrishna

In their new book, Hidden Games, MIT economists Moshe Hoffman and Erez Yoeli find a surprising middle ground between the hyperrationality of classical economics and the hyper-irrationality of behavioural economics. They call it hidden games. Join us as they talk about this new publication.

Reviving game theory, Hoffman and Yoeli use it to explain our most puzzling behaviour, from the mechanics of Stockholm syndrome and internalised misogyny to why we help strangers and have a sense of fairness. Fun and powerfully insightful, Hidden Games is an eye-opening argument for using game theory to explain all the irrational things we think, feel, and do and will change how you think forever.

Meet our speakers and chair

Moshe Hoffman (@Moshe_Hoffman) is a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab Human Dynamics Group and lecturer at Harvard's Department of Economics. His research focuses on using game theory to decipher the motives that shape our behaviour.

Erez Yoeli (@erezyoeli) is a research associate at MIT's Sloan School of Management. Yoeli collaborates with governments, non-profits, and companies to apply the lessons of his research into altruism towards addressing real-world challenges.

Nichola Raihani (@nicholaraihani) is PI of the Social Evolution and Behaviour Lab. She is Professor in Evolution and Behaviour, a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. She is also author of The Social Instinct: How Cooperation Shaped the World (2021).

Michael Muthukrishna (@mmuthukrishna) is Associate Professor of Economic Psychology at LSE. He is also Affiliate of the Developmental Economics Group at STICERD, CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar in the Boundaries, Membership and Belonging programme at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and Technical Director of The Database of Religious History. 

More about this event

The Department of Psychological & Behavioural Science (@LSE_PBS) is a growing community of researchers, intellectuals, and students who investigate the human mind and behaviour in a societal context. Our department conducts cutting-edge psychological and behavioural research that is both based in and applied to the real world.

You can order the book Hidden Games: The Surprising Power of Game Theory to Explain Irrational Human Behaviour (UK delivery only) from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEHiddenGames

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Hidden Games: how game theory explains irrational behaviour.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

Live captions

Automated live captions will be available at this webinar. Once you join the Zoom webinar, you will be able to show or hide the subtitles by clicking on the “Live Transcript - CC” button, from where you can also change the font size and choose to view the full transcript. Please note that this feature uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology, or machine generated transcription, and is not 100% accurate.


We aim to make all LSE events available as a podcast subject to receiving permission from the speaker/s to do this, and subject to no technical problems with the recording of the event. Podcasts are normally available 1-2 working days after the event. Podcasts and videos of past events can be found online.

Social Media

Follow LSE public events on Twitter for notification on the availability of an event podcast, the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates. Event updates and other information about what’s happening at LSE can be found on the LSE's Facebook page and for live photos from events and around campus, follow us on Instagram. For live webcasts and archive video of lectures, follow us on YouTube

LSE in Pictures is a selection of images taken by the school photographer.

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.