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

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lwacker's picture

Do I beat the system... or play well with others?

While participating in the "Prisoner's Dilemma" game I found myself cooperating with Serendip for my first six turns. It was not until the seventh turn that I decided to compete with Serendip. However, if I were to compete for a turn the very next turn Serendip would do the opposite and vice versa. I ended up winning the game, with more gold coins in my possession, at the ends of twelve rounds but I think it was only because I had been the first participant to choose "compete" as an option. In class on Tuesday we discussed the real world application of the Prisoner's Dilemma to our lives and how we have been directly impacted by winning or losing the game. With a big test coming up in GEO on friday, and an invitation to a group study session from my GEO peers, I have realized that the choice to cooperate together, though often times as risky as the choice to compete, is ultimately the most productive and kind-hearted way of going about decision making. 


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