prisoner's dilemma

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Scenario where cooperation and trust wins and blind pursuit of self-interest loses. It is illustrated by the problem faced by two accomplices locked in separate cells. Each is offered three choices by the police: (1) if both confess to the charges, both will be jailed for five years, (2) if only one confesses, he will be freed but the non-confessor will be jailed for ten years, or (3) if neither confesses, both will be tried for a minor offense and will be jailed for one year. If both know that the other will not be selfish and will take the collective interest into consideration, neither will confess and serve one year in jail.
Otherwise, where one cannot depend on the other, both have no choice but to confess and serve five years. It is an example of non zero sum game.

Use 'prisoner's dilemma' in a Sentence

The prisoner's dilemma showed us everyone's true colors and we were able to conclude that most people acted selfishly in the experiment.
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I talked with my friend about the prisoner's dilemma and how important it was that he avoid being selfish and focus on the team instead.
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Quick release could be a possibility, but doing the time would keep his name good, make up the prisoner's dilemma
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