Tag Archives: Decision Making

Breaking the Fourth Window


I can see now how and why John Nash lost his grip on reality: Game Theory is dangerous.

Game Theory is the study of strategic decision-making. It is “the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers. An alternative term suggested is interactive decision theory. Game theory is mainly used in economics, political science, and psychology, as well as logic and biology.

What if you applied that logic, but to someone’s entire life?

What if you closely monitored a person’s every move — every single word they spoke? Became intimately invested in every detail of their daily routine; their habits, their motions? If you actually went to private investigator lengths into their past?

Every lie they ever told. Every law they ever broke. Every brilliant idea they? Every song they ever listened to? Every time they drunkenly tried to hook up with someone on Facebook?

You would have to hack an person’s entire life. However, it would be done for a beneficial cause. You could collect these details to create a realistic psychological impression of them.


The Johari Window

The Johari Window is a technique used to help people better understand their mental instability. When performing the exercise, subjects are given a list of adjectives and pick ones that they feel describe their own personality. Peers of the subject are then given the same list, and each pick five or six adjectives that describe the subject. These adjectives are then mapped on to a grid.

Open Quadrant:

Adjectives selected by both the participant and his or her peers fall into the Open Quadrant. This quadrant represents traits of the subjects that both they and their peers are aware of.

Hidden Quadrant:

Adjectives selected only by subjects, but not by any of their peers, go into the Hidden Quadrant, representing information about them their peers are unaware of. It is then up to the subject to disclose this information or not.

Blind Spot Quadrant:

Adjectives that are not selected by subjects but only by their peers go into the Blind Spot Quadrant. These represent information that the subject is not aware of, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to tell the person about these “blind spots”.

Unknown Quadrant:

Adjectives that were not selected by either subjects or their peers remain in the Unknown Quadrant, representing the participant’s behaviors or motives that were not recognized by anyone participating. They either do not apply or there is a collective ignorance to these trait’s existence.

Breaking through the “4th Window” to know the unknowable.

The activities traditionally used to show the Unknown window traits are completely ineffective. What we are left with (the adjectives not selected by the self or the group) could not apply at all, or it could be the key to understanding a person’s entire psychology.

The only way to actually discover the truth about a person is to watch them when they aren’t aware. That would be the only real way to find traits in the Unknown window.