TrendSegments Leisure

There’s a Reason He’s Not Dwayne “The Paper” Johnson


In a fit of nostalgia, we pitted respondents against a computer in a game that determined which sibling got to hold the remote in the ‘90s: rock, paper, scissors. So, who will be sulking in Dad’s recliner while forced to watch “Beavis and Butt-Head” instead of MTV’s “TRL”?

Fifty-one percent of people chose rock as their first move. In a blow to Dunder-Mifflin employees, paper was least likely to be selected (by humans) in all three rounds. After our game-players made each move, the computer responded by randomly selecting the next of the three objects. How did the humans fare?


  • 64% of Americans won at least one round.
  • 25% won at least two rounds (you go, Glen Coco!).
  • Only 4% won all three rounds.

These numbers are almost exactly what random chance would dictate: If we completely randomized Americans’ moves, 67% should win at least one of three games, 22% should win at least two, and 4% should win all three. In other words, unless you're playing against your three-year-old cousin Timmy who loves paper, this isn’t going to be a skills-based game.


But we can still help you make the first move against other humans (hint: paper covers rock).


Sankey plot showing percentage of Americans who chose rock, paper, or scissors for each move in three rounds