Prisoner's Dilemma Game
The Prisoner's Dilemma Game is a bargaining game where the biggest reward is gained when both players cooperate. This is how the game goes: Two criminals, Prisoner A and Prisoner B, have been arrested under suspicion of committing a major crime, but the police do not have enough evidence to convict them. They interrogate the two prisoners separately, and offer each of them a bargain. Essentially, each prisoner has to decide whether to confess to having committed the crime with the other person, or to deny it.
If Prisoner A confesses and Prisoner B denies, Prisoner A will be set free, while Prisoner B will be convicted for 10 years, and vice versa.
If both confess, they will both serve a six-year sentence.
If both deny, they will both serve a six-month sentence.
The best scenario for both prisoners is for each of them to deny involvement, earning them the shortest sentence of six months. But not knowing what the other prisoner intends to do might deter them from denying the crime. For example, Prisoner A could think this way: ""If Prisoner B confesses and I deny, he will be set free while I stay in prison for ten years. If he confesses and I confess, then we both serve six years. If Prisoner B denies and I deny, then we both serve six months. But if he denies anyway, then I'd be better off confessing because then, I'd go free. Either way, it's in my best interest to confess.""
The problem is Prisoner B could also be following the same line of thinking. Thus, they will both tend to choose to confess, earning them both a six-year sentence. The Prisoner's Dilemma Game illustrates how some people might choose an option where both parties lose instead of cooperating and maximizing the rewards for both parties.