Prisoner’s Dilemma is a thought experiment that illustrates the difficulties that may arise in situations where two individuals have a choice between two mutually exclusive actions, both of which will be beneficial to them individually. The dilemma stems from the possibility that if both individuals cooperate, they both benefit, but if one does not cooperate, he will benefit more than if he had both cooperated. Thus, the dilemma is for a rational individual to defect in the group. Over the last half-century, the Prisoner’s Dilemma has been used to illustrate the challenges we face when making decisions with others.
A classic example of a Prisoner’s Dilemma is a game between two prisoners, where the goal is to avoid getting caught by the guards. In the situation where Dave and Henry are questioned separately, what would happen if both tried to cooperate but discovered that the guards would turn them in, or if they both pretended to be criminals, thus putting them both behind bars?
The classic Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD) problem, often depicted in academic and real-world contexts as “The game theory prisoners’ dilemma,” is a problem of strategic interaction between two players in which the players’ best interests are in direct conflict with one another. The two players are “prisoners” who have been arrested and are confined in separate rooms. The goal of each prisoner is to convince the other to confess to the crime and thereby receive a reduced sentence. The game must not be played at the same time, or the conflicting interests of the prisoners may prevent the payer from confessing.
Prisoner’s Dilemma is a game used to show the issue of Public Goods in economics, showing how cooperation is rarely achieved if the players can only benefit while the others lose. The game has been used to show that selfish and greedy players rarely succeed in achieving their goals – they never achieve any benefits for the group.