Prisoners dilemma

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THE PRISONER'S DILEMMA (I). In the prisoner's dilemma two people have been arrested, the one inmate is called Smith. In this situation the authorities are not interested in the truth but only want to convict someone. An interrogator lays out the consequences for Smith. If Smith does not confess but the other guy confesses against Smith, they will release him and Smith will be put away for ten years. If Smith confesses and the other guy does not Smith will be free. If both men confess, each will receive five years. Still, if neither of the men confesses, there will not be enough evidence to convict either one of them. Each man will be held for one year, and then let go.

Smith and the other man are being offered the same deal. One might assume that each man would confess against each other. In this case both men would receive five years and not obtain the minimum possible time spent in jail.

If each man looked out for him self both will end up worse off than if they had acted in a more benevolent manner. This is what makes the prisoner's dilemma such a paradoxical situation. Both men will be better of if they look out for each other or rather not look out for themselves.

This is a situation that can be used in every day living.. Any time there are peoples' interests that are affected not only by what they do but what other people do, a dilemma may occur. In some situations everyone will end up worse off if they individually pursue their own interests than if they simultaneously do what it not in their own individual interests.

(II). If I myself was in the prisoner's dilemma, and my goal is to spend as little...