Of course it would take a game theorist–someone who studies how people interact in strategic situations–to solve the age-old problem of whether guys should put the toilet seat down.
In his paper, “A Game Theoretic Approach to the Toilet Seat Problem,” Richard Harter breaks down the question into its essentials:
John: ( p – 1/2)pC
I can’t really explain to you what any of that means, except to tell you the rule of thumb Harter’s come up with after doing an impressive amount of math is this: Guys can leave the seat up in the morning after going #1, but in the evening, they should put it down.
The main reason he gives for the evening turn down is to spare the wife a “middle of the night surprise.”
In my house, my wonderful husband leaves the seat down. He had an older sister growing up. Readers: What’s your system? And does it work for you?