This thought experiment presents a prisoner’s dilemma of selfish thinking.

Let’s say you and your partner in crime walk away with some items from a shopping center. And it seems no one saw you. But a few days later, the police show up at your house and invite you for a lineup check. Hmmm?

At the precinct, you’re identified as the culprit and being questioned together with your accomplice on the same matter at the same time, but in separate rooms. So you’re not in a comfortable position to mess up. Would you? If you’re found guilty, you spend five years behind bars, if you’re innocent, you walk scot-free. But if you confess to the crime, you get one year of jail time.

Here’s the catch: if your accomplice confesses too, you both get two years each, but if you stay silent and your accomplice confesses, you get five years while he does a year in jail. The odds aren’t great for both of you. So you are both stuck in a dilemma. This thought experiment is known as “The Prisoner’s Dilemma.”

Related media: PHILOSOPHY – Rational Choice Theory: The Prisoner’s Dilemma [HD]




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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Wed, Jun 29, 2022.


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