Today’s Big Idea was originally framed by Merrill Flood and Melvin Dresher back in 1950, formalized by Albert W. Tucker and goes under the famous name “Prisoner’s Dilemma”.
In a nutshell, the prisoner’s dilemma shows why two completely otherwise rational individuals might not cooperate, even when it appears to be in the best interest of both parties to do so.
The paradox of the prisoner’s dilemma is that both robbers have the opportunity to minimize their total jail time if they co-operate and stay silent, but due to the alluring incentives they face separately both robbers end up confessing. Leading them directly to jail for the maximum combined jail time.
As always, I highly recommend reading the book, but should you feel short on time you can watch our animated summary by clicking the link below.
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