November 1965

Games People Play—The Psychology of Human Relationships.

Author Affiliations

By Eric Berne, MD. Price, $5. Pp 192, with diagrams. Grove Press, Inc., 80 University PI, New York, NY 10003, 1964.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(5):795-796. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870050149031

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These games are quite familiar. One has seen people play them and has been a participant in some. It was merely that one called them by other names. In this context, a game is a set of interpersonal moves or maneuvers made by one, or both, individuals in contact. For example, one of the simplest games: Salesman: "This one is better but you cannot afford it." Housewife: "That's the one I'll take." The ploy is obvious: the salesman, depending upon the child in the woman, sets up a condition that implies a reduction in her status—presumably Mrs. So-and-so can afford it. The adult response obviously would be to buy the item she can afford.

Thus the aim of a game may be manipulation, desire for gain, self-justification, vindication, expiation or guilt, alleviation or self-exculpation, revenge, malice or reassurance, self-abasement, or any of the hundreds of intentions. The objective may also

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