How to Outsmart the Prisoner’s Dilemma

A prisoner’s dilemma is a choice and game theory conundrum that shows that two rational individuals making decisions out of their consciousness cannot achieve an optimal outcome (Dal Bo and Guillaume 52). It is a strategy in which one side seeks its well-being at the expense of the other. In general, both parties suffer greatly as a result of their refusal to cooperate in the decision-making process. It is therefore a situation in which two parties are separated and unable to communicate, and each must choose whether or not to cooperate with the other. When both sides opt to cooperate, each receives the highest benefit.

Individual motivations are overcome in favor of the collective good in solutions to prisoner’s dilemmas. Most economic and other human transactions are repeated multiple times in the real world. This enables parties to devise long-term tactics that reward cooperation and punish defection. As a result, cooperation is crucial in resolving the prisoner’s dilemma. Individuals choose to collaborate by sacrificing a certain amount for one another to achieve a greater mutual good.

Future decisions can help influence current ones in an endless dilemma. Analysis of future outcomes based on past events such as costs or disadvantages that have already occurred may persuade individuals to collaborate so that both parties gain a significant amount of profit. As a result of working out the infinite series representing each strategy and making them equal to each other, the fractional percentage result would mean that as long as each care as much about the future as the other in the given fraction to today, the two can come to a mutual corporate agreement on the decisions to be made, which can be long-term. Individual decision-makers incentives have been altered through the development of formal institutional strategies. Many prisoner dilemmas are transformed into more collectively beneficial cooperative outcomes.

The application of the prisoner’s dilemma has an impact on international politics. The Prisoner’s Dilemma is frequently employed in international political theory to establish the coherence of strategic realism, which claims that in the face of international anarchy, all governments (regardless of their internal policies or professed ideology) will behave in their rational self-interest. The prisoner’s dilemma has been dubbed the “E. coli” of social psychology, and it has been widely used to study oligopolistic rivalry and collective behavior to achieve the common good in economics.

Work Cited

Dal Bó, Pedro, and Guillaume R. Fréchette. “Strategy choice in the infinitely repeated prisoner’s dilemma.” American Economic Review 109.11 (2019): 3929-52.

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DemoEssays. (2022, November 9). How to Outsmart the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

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"How to Outsmart the Prisoner’s Dilemma." DemoEssays, 9 Nov. 2022,


DemoEssays. (2022) 'How to Outsmart the Prisoner’s Dilemma'. 9 November.


DemoEssays. 2022. "How to Outsmart the Prisoner’s Dilemma." November 9, 2022.

1. DemoEssays. "How to Outsmart the Prisoner’s Dilemma." November 9, 2022.


DemoEssays. "How to Outsmart the Prisoner’s Dilemma." November 9, 2022.