Prisoner’s Dilemma Experiment

In a classic PD, players choose independently whether to contribute toward a mutually desirable outcome.  Cooperationinfo-icon comes at a costinfo-icon, so that (for example) a dollar’s contribution yields a return of more than a dollar to the group but less than a dollar to the individual contributor.  Thus contributing is optimal for the group and suboptimal for the individual. Not contributing is a dominant strategy, which is to say, standard game theoryinfo-icon predicts defection. If players prefer higher to lower monetary playoffs, and if other things are equal so far as a player is concerned, a player will not contribute.  

And yet, among the more robust findings to come out of experimental economicsinfo-icon is that human players do not behave as game theory predicts. In laboratory PDs, individual contributions toward the group good are can be substantial.

Subject Area: 
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
2014

Share

Share