Definition of prisoner's dilemma in US English:

prisoner's dilemma


  • (in game theory) a situation in which two players each have two options whose outcome depends crucially on the simultaneous choice made by the other, often formulated in terms of two prisoners separately deciding whether to confess to a crime.

    • ‘Then, having both made that lie, they are bound even more deeply in because, in a version of the prisoner's dilemma, they know that if they suddenly have an epiphany of truth and recant, their opponent will win.’
    • ‘However, such formulations led to problems such as the prisoner's dilemma which illustrated the difficult of reconciling the best strategy for an individual with the best strategy for groups of individuals.’
    • ‘In comparison with classical models of cooperation based on the prisoner's dilemma the model of ‘biological markets’ is based on a fluctuating payoff, largely determined by market forces.’
    • ‘Of course, donation-based systems are kind of like the prisoner's dilemma - many people will hope that enough donations are made to keep the comic in production, without having to contribute themselves.’
    • ‘When played by experienced players, the game takes on many of the characteristics of the prisoner's dilemma.’
    • ‘As the reader may suspect, this theoretical result is far from what we observe in experimental tests of the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma.’
    • ‘This study extends the study of Clements and Stephens, which found that blue jays, placed in an iterated prisoner's dilemma situation, did not cooperate.’
    • ‘One explanation, though certainly not a justification, for why some nations deal with terrorism by capitulating, involves a variation on the prisoner's dilemma.’
    • ‘This fear of defection leads to a classic prisoner's dilemma - and the risk that these central banks will simultaneously try to diversify their currency portfolios poses the greatest threat toward a run on the dollar.’
    • ‘These data conform to the expectation of evolution of lowered fitness in a population of selfish individuals as predicted by the prisoner's dilemma of game theory.’
    • ‘The telecom industry finds itself in such a difficult situation today that one might say operators are facing a prisoner's dilemma.’
    • ‘It's a prisoner's dilemma - every individual is better off submitting to as many journals as possible, but editor's time is a scarce resource.’
    • ‘Yet this merely means that business leaders realize they face a prisoner's dilemma, and that talk alone is insufficient to overcome free-riding.’
    • ‘Imagine going easy on the structure of the atom bit, and giving him a bit of understanding of the prisoner's dilemma.’
    • ‘If analyzed through the game theory framework, these results might be explained by the prisoner's dilemma type of conflict, which predicts that selfish defection is favored over cooperation.’
    • ‘While Cognitive Social Psychologists emphasize ideas like game theories like mixed motive and the prisoner's dilemma in conflict, Symbolic Interactionists will tend to stress ideas like strategic interaction and expression games.’
    • ‘Business faces a prisoner's dilemma problem in controlling news content similar to maintaining a cartel.’
    • ‘Invoking the classic prisoner's dilemma game, Barber suggests that criminal acts are equivalent to defections in which individuals advance their own interests at the expense of their communities.’
    • ‘Game theorists devised the prisoner's dilemma about 50 years ago.’
    • ‘Many lawyers and even some judges have now studied enough economics so that concepts like marginal cost, oligopoly, and prisoner's dilemmas are now standard fare at regulatory hearings and trials.’