Game theory is a tool for analysing strategic interactions between two or more parties. It uses simple, often numerical models to study complex social relations. On this basis, it can illustrate the potential for, and risks associated with, cooperative behavior.
It can be applied to disciplines such as economics, political science, psychology, logic and biology.
John von Neumann is responsible for modern game theory. In 1944 he published Theory of Games and Economic Behaviour with Oskar Morgenstern, which considered cooperative games among several players. The theory has subsequently been developed extensively by many scholars. Eight game-theorists have won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and John Maynard Smith was awarded the Crafoord Prize for his application of game theory to biology.