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Social Simulations: The Prisoner's Dilemma

Lou D'Andria
Organization: Wolfram Research, Inc.
Department: User Interface Group
Journal / Anthology

Mathematica in Education and Research
Year: 1999
Volume: 8
Issue: 2
Page range: 34-37

Why are people generally honest in their dealings with others, even in the absense of a central authority to enforce good behavior? In this column, we model the role of ostracism as a tool for discouraging bad behavior, and thereby encouraging good behavior. We look at two cases in which people have the ability to remember or learn about other people's bad behavior. In the first situation, people remember every individual who has done them wrong in a previous encounter and they refuse to interact with such a person again. In the second situation, good guys use word-of-mouth or gossip in addition to personal experience to learn who are the bad guys, and they avoid interacting with a person with a bad rep even once.

*Applied Mathematics > Complex Systems
*Applied Mathematics > Game Theory
*Mathematics > Discrete Mathematics > Cellular Automata
*Social Science > Sociology and Psychology
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SocSim82.nb (190.8 KB) - Mathematica Notebook