Prisoners' Dilemma

Introduction

This is a classic trust game for teams, designed to demonstrate the concept of "win/win".

It is based on the "Prisoners' Dilemma" in which two criminals who are arrested after a crime are immediately separated into two police cells. The police know that they committed the crime but have no evidence.

Each prisoner is approached individually and told that if they confess and implicate the other person, they will get a significantly reduced sentence.

The dilemma for each prisoner is as follows: -

  • If I confess, I get a reduced sentence and my colleague gets a full sentence.
  • If I trust her/him not to confess and keep quiet, but s/he confesses, I get the full sentence.
  • If I trust her/him not to confess and keep quiet, and s/he does the same, we can both walk free.
  • Of course, if we both confess, we both get the full sentence!
  • Unfortunately, we cannot communicate now we are in the cells and I do not know whether he will honour any agreement we made before we were arrested.

The rules of the game are designed to reflect this dilemma with appropriate win/win, win/lose and lose/lose scoring.

What you get

The kit includes: -

  • Organiser's instructions on how to play the game
  • Hand out template - Guidelines for participants (2 teams)
  • Scorecard template (2 teams)
  • Hand out template - Guidelines for participants (3 teams)
  • Scorecard template (3 teams)
  • Organiser's script/handout template - Key points arising from The Prisoners' Dilemma Game

You may copy these for use within your own organisation as long as you retain the copyright note.

Order now

Why not purchase the Prisoners' Dilemma for 14.95 (approximately $24) and immediately download it?

Payment is handled by WorldPay, using a secure server link.

You will need Acrobat Reader to view the forms.

If you would like us to develop and introduce a bespoke system for your organisation, then contact us now.

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  • Richard Winfield
  • Adobe Acrobat PDF
  • 14.95
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