Cooperation in the Prisoner’s Dilemma

  • Cooperation is — despite not being predicted by game theory — a widely documented aspect of human behaviour in Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD) situations. This article presents a comparison between subjects restricted to playing pure strategies and subjects allowed to play mixed strategies in a one-shot symmetric PD laboratory experiment. Subjects interact with 10 other subjects and take their decisions all at once. Because subjects in the mixed-strategy treatment group are allowed to condition their level of cooperation more precisely on their beliefs about their counterparts’ level of cooperation, we predicted the cooperation rate in the mixed-strategy treatment group to be higher than in the pure-strategy control group. The results of our experiment reject our prediction: even after controlling for beliefs about the other subjects’ level of cooperation, we find that cooperation in the mixed-strategy group is lower than in the pure-strategy group. We also find, however, that subjects in the mixedstrategy group condition their cooperativeCooperation is — despite not being predicted by game theory — a widely documented aspect of human behaviour in Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD) situations. This article presents a comparison between subjects restricted to playing pure strategies and subjects allowed to play mixed strategies in a one-shot symmetric PD laboratory experiment. Subjects interact with 10 other subjects and take their decisions all at once. Because subjects in the mixed-strategy treatment group are allowed to condition their level of cooperation more precisely on their beliefs about their counterparts’ level of cooperation, we predicted the cooperation rate in the mixed-strategy treatment group to be higher than in the pure-strategy control group. The results of our experiment reject our prediction: even after controlling for beliefs about the other subjects’ level of cooperation, we find that cooperation in the mixed-strategy group is lower than in the pure-strategy group. We also find, however, that subjects in the mixedstrategy group condition their cooperative behaviour more closely on their beliefs than in the pure-strategy group. In the mixed-strategy group, most subjects choose intermediate levels of cooperation.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Leonie Heuer, Andreas OrlandORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-435929
DOI:https://doi.org/10.25932/publishup-43592
ISSN:1867-5808
Parent Title (German):Postprints der Universität Potsdam Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Reihe
Subtitle (English):an experimental comparison between pure and mixed strategies
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Reihe (107)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2019/10/07
Year of Completion:2019
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2019/10/07
Tag:Prisoner's Dilemma; cooperation; experiment; human behaviour
Issue:107
Pagenumber:9
Source:Royal Society Open Science 6 (2019) Art. 182142 DOI: 10.1098/rsos.182142
Organizational units:Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 50 Naturwissenschaften / 500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 60 Technik / 600 Technik, Technologie
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, 4.0 International
Notes extern:Bibliographieeintrag der Originalveröffentlichung/Quelle