L2-MHG #09 The Prisoner’s Dilemma continues …

As in real life, the Prisoners’ Dilemma described in the last lesson, is more complex than it seems. As in real life (not the movies) the police are not stupid either. They are also acutely aware of the game in which they are playing.

So the police do not allow the two prisoners to communicate with each other, they keep them locked-up and interrogate them separately.

During the interrogation, in order to get a confession, the police offer each separate prisoner the same deal.

The deal is this: the first prisoner who defects and who not only confesses to his part in the murder but who also becomes a witness for the prosecution and helps the police secure a conviction against the other prisoner will get a ‘plea bargain’ and will get ‘life’ not ‘death’. In other words, the first to defect will get life in jail leaving the other prisoner to get the electric chair.

This, more realistic version of events than the previous version, now presents the prisoners with a real dilemma.

• if both criminals shut up, they will get one year jail.
• if either criminal confesses, both men will be sentenced to death; but the first to confess will have his sentence commuted to life in jail.

DFQ #10:
What should the prisoners do?

7 thoughts on “L2-MHG #09 The Prisoner’s Dilemma continues …

  1. I assume that the criminals are somewhat intelligent and can analyze their dilemma. If one is brazen enough to murder another person, then they better be strong enough to fight for and figure out their situation and the only good outcome is to keep quite.

  2. Both prisoners should remain quiet. If either confesses, their life is over, one is just quicker than the other.

  3. There is still the opportunity to still only walk away with a one year jail sentence, so silence is the option to take. If the police are good enough to convict them of murder the prisoners will be executed

  4. Life in prison is still very much worse than one year’s jail. Therefore, the best course of action for both prisoners is to continue to cooperate and not confess.

  5. There is still no incentive to confess. Whilst the police are not stupid, assuming that the prisoners are not stupid either, the choice between 1 year and life is pretty simple, and you could reasonably assume that the other guy would not make that choice either. Looking forward to the next twist in DFQ11… unless I have missed something!

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