Prisoner's dilemma

Essay by hussong1555College, UndergraduateB, October 2008

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In the prisoner's dilemma game, the situation is that Albert, a fictitious person, and I are accused of committing a crime. Whether or not we committed the crime is not relevant as we are both being held in separate room for interrogation. The purpose of the game is not to necessarily prove my innocence, but rather to limit the number of jail we, combined, spend in jail. There are different strategies I can choose for Albert to follow. These include: the golden rule, the brazen rule, the brazen rule 3, the iron rule, and unknown. This, I thought, would make the game quite easy.

When the golden rule was applied (which states, do onto others as you would want done to you) I knew the Albert would not confess; I, too, chose not to confess. The result was that we were both given 2 years. I went back and played again to see if my strategy was the best one.

The second time I chose to confess. I found that I got off with no time in jail, but Albert was given 5 years. A combined 4 years is better than the 5 years the Albert got, so therefore I won the game.

When the brazen rule was applied, I was confused at the result at first. The brazen rule states, repay kindness with kindness. I chose to confess and we both got 4 years. I then went back and tried other scenarios. I tried to not confess and I got 5 years, while Albert was let free. I then chose to not confess again and we both did not confessed and got 2 years each. I then realized that Albert repaid my kindness and the second time caught on to what I was doing and followed...