Wolf’s dilemma

Prisoner’s dilemma-similar game, the so called wolf’s dilemma, belonging into a broader category of “common welfare” games, can be modeled in the laboratory using the methodology of experimental games. Compared to the prisoner’s dilemma game, the reward for mutual cooperation is even higher than the reward for one-sided betrayal, although the risk of betrayal is higher because of the greater number of participants. We seat twenty experimental subjects in separate cabins before the keyboards of a computer terminal and acquaint them with the following rules: the first to press a key gets – completely anonymously, without the other players knowing – $ 4. If no one presses a key during 10 minutes, each participant gets $ 20. It is highly probable the game will be short and we will only have to pay a $ 4 reward. Betraying and receiving a small reward immediately after starting the game, before someone else finds the right solution, is regrettably the most rational solution. (In any case this is not guaranteed; don’t ask me for compensation if you run into a cooperative group and will have to pay out $ 400 in rewards.)  

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