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Prisoner’s Dilemma and Cooperation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science
EditorsTodd Shackelford, Viviana Weekes-Shackelford
Place of PublicationCham
Publisher or commissioning bodySpringer
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-16999-6
DatePublished - 29 Sep 2018


The prisoner’s dilemma (PD) is a two-player game where there is a conflict between individual and group interests. Overall, both players do better if they both cooperate, yet each individual player does better if they defect. However, if both players defect then they do worse than if they both cooperate, hence the dilemma. This deceptively simple game has been used extensively to explore the conditions under which cooperation can evolve.



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