Economic Analysis of Business Practice
Stay in school kids. -SC
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I would have chosen the two points out of fear of losing all points. It is very telling of the selfish nature of humans,(or maybe just college students)that they could not allow one another to get two points. This example is a much lighter version of the prisoner's dilemma as it involves just extra credit and not the threat of prison time so you would expect a slightly different outcome than the prisoners dilemma. Without knowledge of what the other students are choosing, it could have been inferred, and correctly so, that more than 10% of students would accept the risk in order to have the possibility of a better personal outcome.
Sadly, I’m sure many of us accurately figured out what happened next. What does this tell us? Does it tell us that students at the University of Maryland didn’t understand the concept of “The Prisoners’ Dilemma”? I don’t think so. I think the results of this eight-year long test of humanness tells us that the majority of people are interested in the preservation of the group (i.e., Society) whereas a smaller percentage of people could care less about what’s best for the group and can only focus on themselves or, more accurately, self-preservation and promotion.At first, the idea that students with above average intelligence (presumably) and have studied the concept of the Prisoners’ Dilemma and know how they should react to take advantage of the benefit would act in the opposite way is a bit depressing. Then, I begin to realize that around 80 percent of the students made a choice that benefited the whole class (i.e., society) equally, not just themselves. This is much better news than the 20 percent of students that made the more selfish choice.The Prisoners’ Dilemma is a very useful tool for developing business strategies. However, it is also a great tool to help develop trust between people in a group, which is also an essential part of implementing a successful business strategy. In order for the Prisoners’ Dilemma to be effective, the commitment of each player to follow a particular path is essential in convincing the rest of the group to choose the same path. This is a dilemma that typically exists when a new manager takes over a department that she or he had not been part of or when one company takes over another. If that trust can’t be developed or is violated, people will not act or react in a predictable manner and things will begin to deteriorate.