If you’ve ever played Rock-Paper-Scissors, you’ll have wondered about the strategy that is most likely to beat your opponent.
Zhijian Wang at Zhejiang University in China and co carried out their experiments with 360 students recruited from Zhejiang University and divided into 60 groups of six players. In each group, the players played 300 rounds of Rock-Paper-Scissors against each other with their actions carefully recorded.
[P]layers who win tend to stick with the same action while those who lose switch to the next action in a clockwise direction (where R → P → S is clockwise).
In fact, a “win-stay, lose-shift” strategy is entirely plausible from a psychological point of view: people tend to stick with a winning strategy.