Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ranking – The Unwritten Rules of the Social Game We All Play - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ranking: The Unwritten Rules of the Social Game We All Play

Péter Érdi


As humans, we like to see who is stronger, richer, better, or cleverer. As we also (1) love lists, (2) are competitive, and (3) are jealous of other people, we like ranking. We can rank some situations objectively: students ranked by their heights reflects objectivity. However, many “top-10” (or 21, 33, etc.) lists are based on subjective categorization and give only the illusion of objectivity. In fact, we don’t always want to be seen objectively since we don’t mind having a better image or rank than we deserve. The book applies scientific theories to everyday experience by raising and answer ... More

Keywords: ranking, rating, metrics, comparison, list, objective, subjective, manipulation, reputation, recommendation systems

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190935467
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190935467.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Péter Érdi, author
Henry R. Luce Professor of Complex Systems Studies, cross-appointments in the physics and psychology departments, Kalamazoo College