From the Abstract:
"Games shape player behaviour by presenting goals which players attempt to fulfil. This is the most common “folk” theory of the relationship between game design and player behaviour. It is also one central to most game design literature and to much work within the game studies field.
In this dissertation, the simple idea that players try to win is explicated through a “Rational Player Model”, a tool for understanding the relationship between game goals and the behaviour of players who try to reach these goals."
Jonas Heide Smith
Thesis available here.