Prisoner’s Dilemma Research Paper

Prisoner’s dilemma can be characterized as the conflict between cooperation and competition or between collective and individual rational methods in this or that activity. The Prisoner’s Dilemma can be analyzed either as a mathematical or a familiar paradigm that belongs to the sphere of such sciences like economics, ecology, psychology, politics, and others.

The main aim of Prisoner’s dilemma is to model conflicts of the real world, that’s why it’s studied in psychology and decision-making so deeply. Forest Baker and Howard Rachlin in their article present how this Prisoner’s Dilemma helps to resolve conflicts in life.

According to their report in every collective, there is always a choice: either “to cooperate” that usually refers to the group or “to defect” that refers to the individual. It’s a usually choice between own profit and other people we make every day, they state.

The choice depends on the motivations: either altruistic or selfish. The consequences of almost all our decisions can affect either other people or us.

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In the cases of social interaction, the consequences of any human actions have good or bad results for the other members of the society. In the cases of self-interaction, the actions or decisions will affect directly the individual who commits them. These two situations are usually treated by the individuals like equal ones.

So, social interaction can be regarded as a competition between a person and others and self-interaction can be regarded as a competition between our present self and future self. The behavior during the dilemma is analyzed as the function of punishment and encouragement. The authors give some games that deal with the dilemma. The research concerning PD was based on the series of the experiments where people played different Dilemma games with a computer.

The games are played with the computer and are represented by two types. In the first one, a specific teaching strategy is used, in which the computer encourages participants’ cooperation or punishes their defection. That is the probabilistic version of tit-for-tat. The second type is known as a probabilistic version of Pavlov. Here dilemma presents a learning strategy, where the computer’s actions are punished or encouraged by the participants’ cooperation and defection is used. Participants learn to cooperate with both computer strategies.

Prisoner’s Dilemma is 2×2 non-zero “mixed motive” game that can be played by two players who are not told the number of trials they must come through. When during the game both players cooperate, they get the second-best outcome, when the first player cooperates and the second defects, the first one becomes the best outcome – and the second player gets the worst outcome. When both players defect, they both receive the second worst result. In most laboratory studies the payoffs are usually in cents or dollars. There is a particular risk for the player who chooses to cooperate to receive the sucker’s payoff if the opponent decides to defect. Not knowing the choice of your opponent you must analyze the situation and choose either to risk or not. So if to analyze the matrix we can see that the outcome for both players is better when they both cooperate.

Tit-for-tat was developed as a teaching strategy. In this kind of game a computer, which played against the person, followed player’s strategy. To the cooperation, it responded with the cooperation and used defecting as a response to player’s defecting. Such a policy used by the computer program encouraged collaboration as human players quickly realized that cooperation was more desirable than defection.

Straightforward strategy, where computer program reinforced the cooperation and punished defection was used to explain the basic rules of work with a partner. In the case of tit-for-tat, the interaction is encouraged by the direct reciprocal connection. In the tit-for-tat type of the game, the player can not punish the computer by responding with defection as it will repeat his actions on the next stage. In Pavlov, such a possibility is possible, as the computer doesn’t respond with the same reaction to the player’s actions.

The authors prove the strong influence of social context on the results of the experiments with social cooperation.

The study was made as an attempt to find the measure of probability and the opportunity to predict the result of the game. It’s evident that all the participants of the game tried to maximize reward and minimize punishment.

Baker and Rachlin studied the probability of cooperation in Prisoner Dilemma game with two participants.

They set up and proved a thesis that likelihood of association in Prisoner’s Dilemma game depended on the probability of reciprocation. The study showed that in two-person Prisoner’s Dilemma the probability of cooperation also depended on the possibility of reciprocation of the other player. The uncertainty of the situation created during experiment helped the author to study human behavior in social interactions.

The results show that we are more likely to be nice to others if we know that they will be nice to us in return. At the same time, we are more reluctant to be nice in the situation where we are not so sure about the possible results of our behavior.

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