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Title: Strategic interaction in the Prisoner's Dilemma : a game-theoretic dimension of conflict research
Author: Marinoff, Louis Joshua
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1992
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This four-part enquiry treats selected theoretical and empirical developments in the Prisoner's Dilemma. The enquiry is oriented within the sphere of game-theoretic conflict research, and addresses methodological and philosophical problems embedded in the model under consideration. In Part One, relevant taxonomic criteria of the von Neumann- Morgenstern theory of games are reviewed, and controversies associated with both the utility function and game-theoretic rationality are introduced. In Part Two, salient contributions by Rapoport and others to the Prisoner's Dilemma are enlisted to illustrate the model's conceptual richness and problematic wealth. Conflicting principles of choice, divergent concepts of rational choice, and attempted resolutions of the dilemma are evaluated in the static mode. In Part Three, empirical interaction among strategies is examined in the iterated mode. A computer-simulated tournament of competing families of strategies is conducted, as both a complement to and continuation of Axelrod's previous tournaments. Combinatoric sub-tournaments are exhaustively analyzed, and an eliminatory ecological scenario is generated. In Part Four, the performance of the maximization family of strategies is subjected to deeper analysis, which reveals critical strengths and weaknesses latent in its decision-making process. On the whole, an inter-modal continuity obtains, which suggests that the maximization of expected utility, weighted toward probabilistic co-operation, is a relatively effective strategic embodiment of Rapoport's ethic of collective rationality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available