Schelling's Game Theory: How to Make Decisions

By Robert V. Dodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13
Cooperation

The University of Michigan professor Robert Axelrod, foreseeing a lasting breakthrough in relations between the Russians and the Americans, wrote, “Once the US and the USSR know that they will be dealing with each other indefinitely, the necessary preconditions for cooperation will exist The foundation of cooperation is not really trust, but the durability of the relationship.”1

It is clear that if the Prisoner’s Dilemma is a one-time event, the rational strategy is mutual defection with a resulting low utility payoff. The question is different when one is likely to encounter the same opponent multiple times, and each player can consider what effect of his defection will have on the next encounter. Repeated, or iterated play of the Prisoner’s Dilemma may lead some to consider the idea of cooperation, but the temptation of defection and its higher payoff is always luring players to seek more.

The arms race was a prisoner’s dilemma that embodied the variation of the game that is exactly what Axelrod envisioned in noting the importance of engaging with the same opponent over time to reach the understanding that cooperation yields the best net outcome. The United States and U.S.S.R. knew that they would be dealing with each other for the long run—in effect repeating the game over and over again. In the area of arms control this ongoing engagement provided the possibility of knowing whether or not the other side was going ahead with development. This, in turn, permitted an agreement to slow development or halt testing, for example, if, and only if, the other side did the same. As well, it brought the gradual discovery over time that cooperation could result in spite of each individual country’s self-interest.

Examples of cooperation emerging in situations that involved choices between cooperation and defection have been noted in a wide range of areas from armed combat to animal behavior. One now famous example is a story from the trenches of World War I, brought to public attention in July 2001 with the death of Bertie Felstead at 106. The New York Times noted Felstead’s passing as the death of the last known survivor of the British battalion that on Christmas, 1915, near a small village west of Lille in France heard “All Through the Night” being sung one hundred yards away in the German trenches. Felstead’s unit was soon singing “Good King Wenceslas.” On Christmas Day shouts of “Hello Tommy, Hello Fritz,” were

-147-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Schelling's Game Theory: How to Make Decisions
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 292

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.