Risk Profile

Lesson Summary

This guide has students consider what sort of behaviors might indicate that an individual is risk-loving or risk-averse.

Clip Summary

Each of the 16 surviving players begins the game by having to choose a numbered vest from 1 to 16 before they know the rules of the game or the type of game played. The players don’t know the implications of their choice. Two types of behavior become apparent in this process. A small group of male players boldly seize the middle numbers which they assume will have a strategic value: these players are risk-loving. The vast majority of players, however, sit back and don’t want to make a choice: they are risk-averse. At this point, to expedite the start of the game, the Front Man reveals that the number the players selected will correspond with the order in which they will play the game: vests #1 and #16 are the last two remaining vests. Nobody wants to play the game first or last, because without knowing the game going first or last is a riskier option. Gi-Hun (Player #456) chooses vest #1, but swaps this for vest #16 at the last minute after another player begs Gi-Hun for the opportunity to go first.

Assessment Questions

  1. Which economic concepts explain why most players were reluctant at first to choose numbered vests?

  2. What happens when the Front Man reveals specific information about the game

Hover over box to see suggested answers

  1. Risk aversion. Players did not know the rules of the game, or the implications of their choice, so they were making decisions with incomplete information. 

  2. When the Front Man reveals that the number the players selected will correspond with the order in which they will play the game, vests #1 and #16 are the last two remaining vests. Nobody wants to play the game first or last, because without knowing the game going first or last is a riskier option.