The prisoner’s dilemma is an application paradox associated with the well-known theory of the games of mathematician John Nash. It is called a full-information game, as the information is shared by all participants. It is based on the fundamental dynamics that question the choice between a collaboration or competition behaviour.
The problem presents two robbers who, following a bank robbery, are arrested and led into separate rooms to be subjected to an interrogation.
The accusers have no evidence or witnesses to confirm the guilt of the two. The investigators only have to convince one of them to empty the bag and tell everything about his accomplice, so that they will receive a lesser sentence. So, to the two alleged criminals, there is nothing left but to cooperate with justice or to silence and remain faithful to the accomplice.
If both choose silence, the accusers will inflict a slight penalty, which consists of one year of imprisonment for the two. If either witness and the other remains silent, the one who speaks will be free and the accomplice will suffer a sentence of 5 years. If they both decide to cooperate with justice, they will be sentenced to two years per capita for co-responsibility in theft.
As the riders are placed, while having the possibility to reduce the sentence to a total of only one year each, they are confronted, individually, with a situation that encourages them to speak. The difficulty in coming to the conclusion of this situation lies precisely in the fact that the players are kept separate and therefore unaware of the choice of the other.
The dilemma is based on offering both participants a solution that benefits their personal condition at the expense of the other, rather than opting for cooperation.
A number of solutions have been brought to solve this scratcher, which is the basis of various economic interactions. First, in the real world, these types of interactions are repeated several times and, in this case, the problem itself assumes the dilemma of the entherate prisoner. A repeated process in which players opt for choices that enhance cooperation.
In a real interaction, moreover, a series of phenomena and behaviors come into play, such as reputation, rules and laws, which lead the proverbial needle of the balance to tend towards a collective advantage. The theory is further influenced by psychological prejudices, personal inclinations based on mutual trust, which influence the individual’s thinking, and consequently individual choice, in relation to the imagination of the common society, leading to phenomena of cooperation between the two sides of industry, and the social partners.
All this makes the dilemma, in relation to real socio-economic interaction contexts, a problem that is too much projected to theory and incapable of being compared to situations of practical context, since it is free from the inclusion of conditionings and psychological and behavioral implications, typical of
If you are interested in the topic, we would like to point out the deepening of Nash’s balance (not exactly that of “A beautiful mind”).