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orthonormal comments on Robust Cooperation in the Prisoner's Dilemma - Less Wrong

69 Post author: orthonormal 07 June 2013 08:30AM

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Comment author: orthonormal 10 June 2013 02:39:07AM *  6 points [-]

The point of using the one-shot Prisoner's Dilemma (and variants like this one) isn't actually that it's a realistic approximation of real-life phenomena, so much as that it's one of the simplest decision-theory problems that standard game theory looks suboptimal for, and so it's a good proving ground for further development. (Think of it like the assumption that objects in kinetic physics are frictionless.)

Similarly, game theory started with assumptions of perfect common knowledge of payoff matrices, which didn't model real-life situations all that well, but the theory developed there was later extended to more realistic setups in politics and business.

That being said, I'm also curious to know if there are real-world examples that model one-shot Prisoner's Dilemmas reasonably well.