The concept demonstrated by a bird in the hand can be looked at more closely using a game theory analysis. In this, we would have to also examine the probability of catching the two birds in the bush. Then we could begin to better calculate the relative values of the bird in the hand, and the bird in the bush. Different strategies would then manifest themselves: an extremely cautious strategy would of course always keep the known quantity, a bird in the hand, even if the chance of catching the two birds in the bush was 99%; a balanced strategy might advocate keeping a bird in the hand as long as the chance of catching the birds in the bush was less than 50%; and an extremely bullish strategy would always go for the two birds in the bush.
Illustrator: Matt McCann
Writer: Mr Bush