prisoner's dilemma

prisoner's dilemma
n.
in game theory, a situation in which, if each of the individuals involved chooses the most rational option for gaining his or her own ends, the least desirable outcome for all will necessarily result

* * *

Imaginary situation employed in game theory.

One version is as follows. Two prisoners are accused of a crime. If one confesses and the other does not, the one who confesses will be released immediately and the other will spend 20 years in prison. If neither confesses, each will be held only a few months. If both confess, they will each be jailed 15 years. They cannot communicate with one another. Given that neither prisoner knows whether the other has confessed, it is in the self-interest of each to confess himself. Paradoxically, when each prisoner pursues his self-interest, both end up worse off than they would have been had they acted otherwise. See egoism.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • prisoner's dilemma — n. in game theory, a situation in which, if each of the individuals involved chooses the most rational option for gaining his or her own ends, the least desirable outcome for all will necessarily result …   English World dictionary

  • Prisoner's dilemma — This article is about game theory. For the 1988 novel, see Prisoner s Dilemma (novel). For the Doctor Who audiobook, see The Prisoner s Dilemma. For the 2001 play, see The Prisoner s Dilemma (play). The prisoner’s dilemma is a canonical example… …   Wikipedia

  • Prisoner's Dilemma — A paradigmatic instance in game theory , which takes its name from a story of two prisoners, who are interrogated separately and cannot communicate with each other. There is insufficient evidence for the police to convict either prisoner of armed …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Prisoner's Dilemma — A paradox in decision analysis in which two individuals acting in their own best interest pursue a course of action that does not result in the ideal outcome. The typical prisoner’s dilemma is set up in such a way that both parties choose… …   Investment dictionary

  • prisoner’s dilemma — A branch of *game theory that systematically analyzes strategies for the optimal selection of alternative courses of action in competitive conditions. The prisoner’s dilemma focuses on the complexities of making competitive choices. In a… …   Auditor's dictionary

  • Prisoner's dilemma — Das Gefangenendilemma ist ein Paradoxon, das zentraler Bestandteil der Spieltheorie ist. Es ist nicht zu verwechseln mit dem Gefangenenparadoxon über bedingte Wahrscheinlichkeiten. Bei dem Dilemma handelt es sich um ein klassisches symmetrisches… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • prisoner's dilemma — noun (in game theory) a situation in which two players each have two options whose outcome depends crucially on the other s simultaneous choice, exemplified by two prisoners separately deciding whether to confess to a crime …   English new terms dictionary

  • prisoner's dilemma — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Prisoner's Dilemma (novel) — Infobox Book | name = Prisoner s Dilemma title orig = image caption = Cover of a reprint edition. author = Richard Powers illustrator = cover artist = country = United States language = English genre = Novel publisher = Beech Tree Books release… …   Wikipedia

  • Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma — A normal prisoner’s dilemma played repeatedly by the same participants. An iterated prisoner’s dilemma differs from the original concept of a prisoner’s dilemma because participants can learn about the behavioral tendencies of… …   Investment dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.