Need psychology help with The Prisoner's Dilemma; What is in My Best Interest?

Nov 18th, 2015
KateS
Category:
Psychology
lock_open
3 unlocks

Question description

Assignment 2: The Prisoner’s Dilemma; What is in My Best Interest?

We learned in earlier discussions that according to Aristotle and Bentham, one’s happiness was the highest goal. Enter social contract. How does one ensure one’s self-interest when one has to compromise with another to achieve the goal? David Gauthier proposes that it is possible, offering the Prisoner’s Dilemma as an example.

According to the story of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, two people have been brought in for questioning, conducted separately, about a crime they are suspected to have committed. The police have solid evidence of a lesser crime that they committed, but need confessions in order to convict them on more serious charges. Each prisoner is told that if she cooperates with the police by informing on the other prisoner, then she will be rewarded by receiving a relatively light sentence of one year in prison, whereas her cohort will go to prison for ten years. If they both remain silent, then there will be no such rewards, and they can each expect to receive moderate sentences of two years. And if they both cooperate with police by informing on each other, then the police will have enough to send each to prison for five years. The dilemma then is this: in order to serve her own interests as well as possible, each prisoner reasons that no matter what the other does she is better off cooperating with the police by confessing. Each reasons: “If she confesses, then I should confess, thereby being sentenced to five years instead of ten. And if she does not confess, then I should confess, thereby being sentenced to one year instead of two. So, no matter what she does, I should confess.” The problem is that when each reasons this way, they each confess, and each goes to prison for five years. However, had they each remained silent, thereby cooperating with each other rather than with the police, they would have spent only two years in prison.

(Note: For additional information, you can read more about Gauthier by copying the URL into your internet browser. (http://www.iep.utm.edu/soc-cont/#SH2a). It will take you to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The link takes you to the beginning of a great article on social contract. The outline at the beginning shows that the discussion on Gauthier and the Prisoner’s Dilemma is in the middle of the article, in the “More Recent Theories” section, following Rawls. Gauthier comments on the idea that the Prisoner’s Dilemma shows that it is in an individual’s best interest to cooperate, even when it means that they will give up some individual freedom.)

Assignment Requirements:

Write a 3-page (650-750 word) paper addressing the following questions:

  1. Consider the concepts of utilitarianism, egoism, and social contract. What moral theory—utilitarianism, egoism, or social contract—is consistent with cooperating with the other prisoner and rejecting self-interest as the best option? What is the recommended course of action for each prisoner in regard to the other two theories?
  2. From your experience, is cooperation always in your best interest? Share an example. Alternatively, to state it negatively, why do selfish, self-centered people seem to prosper if cooperation is always in their best interest?

Post the 3-page (650-750 words) paper to the M2


Tutor Answer

(Top Tutor) Daniel C.
(997)
School: Carnegie Mellon University
PREMIUM TUTOR

Studypool has helped 1,244,100 students

Get The Complete Answer!

lock_open

8 Reviews


Summary
Quality
Communication
On Time
Value
Five Star Tutor
Nov 30th, 2016
" Outstanding Job!!!! "
SjSurvivor143
Nov 15th, 2016
" Thanks for the help. "
Joemoe
Nov 1st, 2016
" <3 it, thanks for saving me time. "
tinytim47
Oct 23rd, 2016
" Wow this is really good.... didn't expect it. Sweet!!!! "
pmallory
Oct 19th, 2016
" Totally impressed with results!! :-) "
mixedballz
Oct 10th, 2016
" excellent work as always thanks for the help "
kiln82
Sep 26th, 2016
" awesome work thanks "
darnay
Sep 17th, 2016
" The best tutor out there!!!! "
Ask your homework questions. Receive quality answers!

Type your question here (or upload an image)

1820 tutors are online

Brown University





1271 Tutors

California Institute of Technology




2131 Tutors

Carnegie Mellon University




982 Tutors

Columbia University





1256 Tutors

Dartmouth University





2113 Tutors

Emory University





2279 Tutors

Harvard University





599 Tutors

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



2319 Tutors

New York University





1645 Tutors

Notre Dam University





1911 Tutors

Oklahoma University





2122 Tutors

Pennsylvania State University





932 Tutors

Princeton University





1211 Tutors

Stanford University





983 Tutors

University of California





1282 Tutors

Oxford University





123 Tutors

Yale University





2325 Tutors