prisoner's dilemma

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Prisoner's Dilemma

A classic problem in game theory. In the problem, two suspects are arrested and questioned separately by police. If one accuses the other while the other remains silent, the accuser will go free and the silent party will go to jail for 10 years. If each accuses the other, both go to prison for five years. If both remain silent, they only go to jail for one year. According to the dilemma, the rational response for each of the prisoners is to accuse the other (maximizing the possibility each will go free), even though this produces an irrational result (that both go to jail for five years).

The prisoner's dilemma is used to explain a variety of economic and political phenomena when all parties involved are self-interested, rational and have imperfect information. For example, two companies may compete for a promising employee. They offer increasingly attractive salaries. If one company gives up, the other company will take the employee. So both quite rationally increase the offers. This however could produce the irrational result that a new employee is paid too highly. The prisoner's dilemma seeks to explain why rational actions sometimes lead to irrational conclusions.
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prisoner's dilemma

Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
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He constructed a tournament for computer programs that played multiple rounds of a bilateral game with positive rewards that complied with the prisoner's dilemma logic.
In the prisoner's dilemma (see the table below), if both prisoners remain silent, they are both fined lightly.
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These authors found that higher levels of withdrawal (neuroticism) and enthusiasm (extraversion) predicted increased likelihood of cooperation in a 10-round prisoner's dilemma. Withdrawal is similar to fear and the authors concluded that fear of repercussions may be driving cooperation for these individuals while enthusiasm was associated with being more social.
In his political prisoner's dilemma presentation, John Bunzl explains how even though these politicians have access to each other; it has become a challenge for them to work together because they are held in a hidden dilemma of suspicion.
Does this boil down to a typical prisoner's dilemma, in which players are trapped despite knowing that it comes at a cost for all?
Using the classic prisoner's dilemma game model, in this study we analyzed the game relationships between administrative power and academic power, with the aim of finding a new theoretical explanation for the balance between academic power and administrative power.
Prisoner's Dilemma is about avoiding exploitation, but in a Chicken game one person or the other must compromise to avoid a mutual disaster.

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