Prisoner's Dilemma

Discipline: Political Science

Instance within game theory.

Two prisoners given the chance of reduced sentences if they incriminate each other - even though with no confessions at all they might not be convicted - will hedge their bets whereas solidarity would have been in their best interests.

Basing their behavior on a calculation that others will not act as sensibly as themselves, people make decisions which are not as beneficial to either themselves or others as those that, in ideal circumstances, they might make.

Source:
Robert Abrams, Foundations of Political Analysis (New York, 1979)

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