Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

hwiencek's picture

prisoner's dilemma

I played the game twice and tied with the computer both times.  The first time I cooperated for each turn and the game ended in 10 rounds.  The second time I cooperated a majority of the time, but competed 7 (out of 17) times.  Each time I competed the computer copied me the next turn.  

I have to admit, like others, I don't really get the point of this game.  In fact, I'm wondering if I maybe just don't understand it completely.  I suppose I understand it if I was playing against a real person or if I were observing many people playing the game--in both cases I might be able to learn something about what people are likely to do.  However, playing against a computer seemed rather pointless to me.  I'm also not sure what we were supposed to learn from it...

  I guess I would classify all of my relationships with people as Prisoner's Dilemmas.  The ideal relationship for me is win-win...I am able to help the other person and they are able to help me--mutualistic.  However, sometimes relationships may need to be in the lose-win or win-lose phase for a period of time...as long as the end result is win-win.  For example, sometimes you need to give more to another person and not receive anything in return for the time being if the other person is in pain, etc.  And the reverse is also true.  I think that the best example I have of this in my life is my relationships with my best friend, Alison (and probably to some extent my mother, but I think I probably rely more on her than she does on me).  In these relationships there is a feeling of unconditional love and support.  We are there for each other no matter what.  Some days all I do is complain and she will help me through (win-lose).  Others it is the opposite (lose-win).  But in the end, just knowing we each have that support system makes it a win-win situation.  (Also, I would argue that being able to support and help someone you care about could also be a win because it makes you feel good...)

Reply

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
7 + 13 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.