A group of scientists from Chinese universities published a scientific paper in 2014 on the role psychology plays in Rock, Paper, Scissors. They studied how players change (or maintain) their strategies over several rounds – and as a result, they discovered an interesting pattern.
The experiment proceeded as follows. Scientists selected 360 students and divided them into groups of six, after which they played 300 rounds of Rock, Paper, Scissors against random opponents. Statistics have shown that if a player defeats an opponent in one round, then the likelihood of repeating the same action in the next becomes much higher. If a player has lost twice or more, he will likely switch to a strategy that counters his opponent’s winning moves from previous rounds.
Roughly speaking, if player A played scissors and lost, because Player B chose the stone, then in the next round A will most likely choose the paper. According to scientific work, this is a completely profitable strategy, because… Player B will probably continue to choose the stone.
In other words, the most winning strategy in Rock, Paper, Scissors is as follows. If you lose in the first round, then choose the option that beats your opponent’s previous choice. If you win, don’t use the same choice over and over again. Instead, choose the same option as your opponent in the last round. For example, let’s say you win a round by choosing rock versus paper. The enemy is going to choose paper – which means you need scissors.