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The Prisoner's Dilemma


The Prisoner's Dilemma

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""The spatial variant of the iterated prisoner's dilemma is a simple yet powerful model for the problem of cooperation versus conflict in groups. The applet below demonstrates the spread of 'altruism' and 'exploitation for personal gain' in an interacting population of individuals learning from each other by experience.""
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Material Type: Simulation
Date Added to MERLOT: July 06, 1998
Date Modified in MERLOT: January 26, 2017
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Submitter: Jim Spohrer


  • Reviewed by members of Editorial board for inclusion in MERLOT.
    Editor Review (not reviewed)
  • User review 4 average rating
  • User Rating: 4 user rating
  • Discussion (4 Comments)
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Primary Audience: College General Ed
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Language: English
Cost Involved: yes
Source Code Available: no
Accessibility Information Available: no
Creative Commons: unsure


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Discussion for The Prisoner's Dilemma

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Avatar for jason miller
12 years ago

jason miller (Student)

I spent a bit more time on this site than I would care to admit. I get a little
worried when I start seeing human behavior turned into different values entered
into a numerical matrix. No matter how many options or choices are provided,
they still won't be entirely capable of compensating all of the variables
involved in the human thought process. Although this sort of thing isn't my cup
of tea, I could appreciate the work and organization involved.
The real reason I logged on and viewed so many of the links on the page was
that I had a difference of opinion regarding some of the associations made in
the section "Ethic based on the Prisoners Dilema", and felt the authors view on
racism, xenophobia, and affirmitive action were from a bit too narrow of a
perspective. Comments made came from a majority vs. minority perspective, and
they left out minority vs minority interactions. Some of the worst examples of
racism, and prejudice I have witnessed come from minorities directed at other
minorities. Affirmative action also assumes that all minority groups perform at
a substandard level, and this is a disrespectful approach considering the hard
work and accomplishments of several "minority" groups.
I did have some problems with some of the links, but overall was a great
site. I think my personel views may not make me the best judge if this would be
a good tool in a classroom environment. Definitly a good discussion topic.

Avatar for Aisha Starks
15 years ago

Aisha Starks (Student)

I spent a lot of time browsing through this site.
There turned out to be so much more information then I thought.The content of
material was very good. Various ideas were given on the main topic. This site
has lots to offer to both teacher and student as far as finding different was to
relate the tpoic to others or classes.It was very easy to use this site. I was
able to move from page to page with ease.

Avatar for   garcia
15 years ago

garcia (Student)

I quickly browsed through this sight and didn't get to try any of the
teaching/learning activities. From what I saw the models seemed to represent
the concepts. I think this sight would be a great teaching/learning tool
because of it's in depth step by step process of describing everything. The
sight was easy to use and first timers should have no problem with it. It is
set up in sections which breaks it down for the person.

Avatar for Bernd Schroeder
16 years ago

Bernd Schroeder (Faculty)

I did not know what the prisoner?s dilemma was, but this site taught the problem
very nicely and also has nice animations to show the visual aspects.

Technical Remarks:

Runs fine in WIN98 and Explorer