Prisoners Dilemma Prisoner's Dilemma and Teamwork Prisoner's Essay

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Subject: Leadership
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #43624511

Excerpt from Essay :

Prisoners Dilemma

Prisoner's Dilemma and Teamwork

Prisoner's Dilemma and Teamwork

Since its initiation in the 1950s by Merrill Flood and Melvin Dresher who presented the Prisoner's Dilemma (PD) (Flood, 1958), this game theory has been researched by a number of scholars, in particular after Robert Axelrod pioneered the idea of the iterated PD in his book 'The Evolution of Cooperation'. The PD is a distinctive non-zero-sum game discovered in game theory. The foundation of the game is on the renowned expression of PD, the Canonical PD payoff matrix (Robert Axelrod, 1984), in which the results are shown non-zero for the players in its traditional outline. Below is a graphical presentation of the prisoner's dilemma ("PD"):

Figure 1-Definition of Prisoner's Dilemma Problem

In this game, players are required to either decide to cooperate or defect unconnectedly. If both the players decide to cooperate, 3 points are given to each of them. On the other side, if both of them decide to defect, each of them gets only 1 point. If both the players do not decide same thing than the player who chooses defect gains 5 points whilst the other who chooses to cooperate gets no point. The game is played to obtain as many points as possible. The players are free to choose cooperate or defect even choosing cooperate is in both their best interests they can yet decide to defect.

Strategies for Prisoner's Dilemma

There are many strategies that are used in the Prisoner's Dilemma. Some renowned strategies to solve this game are listed below (Robert Axelrod, 1984):

Tit-For-Tat -- in this strategy player repeats the last choice made by their opponents;

Tit-For-Two-Tats -- this strategy is same to the Tit-For-Tat, the difference is that the player has to make the identical choice two times in a row previous to its reciprocal;

Grudger -- in this strategy the player continue choosing cooperate unless the opponents player choose defect and after that he always chooses defect (unforgiving)

Pavlov -- in this strategy the player chooses to repeat the last choice provided the last choice resulted in a making points;

Adaptive -- in this strategy players select their strategy before playing and start playing using pre-selected options; after that, following the early 11 moves, the player chooses the actions that result in best average score. Here players re evaluate and calculates the points and then continues the game

The ultimate issue in the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma game is to decide a best strategy to get the uppermost number of points. IPD tournament is held on yearly basis for the evaluation of strategies adopted by different competitors. To explore the best strategy there has been wide use of genetic algorithms (Jennifer Golbeck, 2002). At present, strategies based on memory and outcome for instance, Tit-For-Tat and Pavlov are considered best strategies to win this game (Fogel D., 1993).

I played prisoners' dilemma with my class fellows and current essay is a description of my experience of this game. I explored the features of group work and teamwork how individuals contribute to teamwork. I also was able to comprehend how leaders of an organization alter a group of people into a team and lastly the concrete advantages of teams with high performance. In this essay I have also focused on the personality assessments and how different types of personality traits influence the team members.

A team is a group of individuals who are working for a shared goal. Forsyth (1999, p.116) describes, "Teams are, at core, goal-seeking groups, and they will function more effectively if their goals are clear to members. It is important for the effectiveness of the team that its goals are clear to each member.

Managers use many methods to motivate employees to work into teams in many ways. They influence by showing leadership traits such as motivation, giving rewards for good works, praising and punishing them for their work. The leader transforms and motivates followers by: (1) making them more aware of the importance of task outcomes, (2) inducing them to transcend their own self-interest for the sake of the organization or team, and (3) activating their higher-order needs" (Yukl,1994, p. 351). For example, in the corporate or business environment, leaders replace disbursement and status for efforts of their workers. In the political context, leaders offer employments, grants, and government contracts to their voters as an appreciation of their efforts and campaign donations (Yukl, 1994).In a group setting and team work individuals learn to think collectively not fore themselves and their interests but interests of the team as a whole.

An effective team is that which works for a collective purpose, has stable membership, team members are engages in the mission, team has set goals and objectives. Team has rules established by the team leader that each team members follows.

How well did the personality assessments reflect in the behaviors participants displayed during the game?

There are several types of personality traits that I observed during this game. I noticed that participants who did not have a dominant role were respectful, helpful, and averse to disagreement, obedient, modest, compliant, cowardly, passive, and willing to help. The team member who is not dominant is characterized with following traits. He is vigorous, self-confident, destructive, spirited, obstinate, and domineering.

Participants who are not able to get attention show an attitude that can be trusted, unwary, accepting, unqualified, and relaxed. An extremely watchful team member has traits like doubtful, cynical, mistrustful, and oppositional.

Then there are players who are 'not-so-open-to-change'. These team members are characterized as customary, emotionally involved with the well-known, unadventurous, and reverential to the customary concepts. Also there were highly open individuals who were more logical, significant, progressive, and supple.

What do these assessments tell us about how we perceive ourselves vs. how others perceive us?

While working in a team we come to know about ourselves and our characteristics. While working in a team we have to work with all types of people either cooperative or non-cooperative, aggressive and submissive. We also come to realize about ourselves. As an individual we may perceive ourselves as most cooperative and ideal person but there may be someone in the team or group who don't like our attitude. There is also possibility of conflict on some issue. There are different opinions on an issue. We may also judge ourselves as best in completing a task but in practical there is possibility that we are unable to complete a task with in the best way and quickly as compared to our team mates.

In the game of Prisoner's Dilemma imitation, each player has to solve problems and thus has to adapt methods and strategies that may help them to solve problems. Figure-2 below is a depiction of the ways in which players perceive and solve problems:

Figure 2-Personality vs. Action Mode

3. What informal roles did participants assume during the game, and were they different from the planning portion from the playing portion of the exercise?

Our group members assumed different roles like manager, advisor, customer, business partner, and advisor. There was a bit difference in the roles as assumed by members and as they exercised. The manager assumed that he has to do nothing except giving instructions and his team will follow his instruction. But in actual he had to face many challenges in playing his role. There were diverse people in his team that he had to handle. He had to resolves conflicts within group members. He had to be humble and patient while dealing with some members.

4. What did I learn about myself? For example, did the exercise show that you have characteristic ways of relating to others that are distinctive, or similar, to those the others? Did the exercise show that in a particular type of situation you acted in a particular way, or that when others acted in a particular way, you felt happy or anxious or angry, etc.

I felt myself that I was more hardworking and more capable in accomplishing tasks of the team. Yet, I did realize that I cannot easily interact with others. I felt lack of confidence in conveying my feelings and talking in a group setting.

5. What did I learn about someone else in the exercise? Did you see something new about them, such as "they seemed more capable than I imagined," or "inattentive when things were stressful?"

While completing the assigned tasks I felt that I am the best but during discussions I felt my colleagues are more capable to express their view point. I particularly felt that team leader was capable of handling stressful situations and resolving conflicts while initially I had imagined he is not capable.

6. In playing your game, what could you have done to increase cooperative behaviors?

I think for promotion of cooperation you need to be humble and be forgiving. In particular, I am of the opinion that forgiveness could be added so as to enhance the cooperation. Thus team members are more willing…

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