[LINK] Prisoner’s Dilemma? Not So Much
Hannes Rusch argues that the Prisoner’s Dilemma is best understood as merely one game of very many:
only 2 of the 726 combinatorially possible strategically unique ordinal 2x2 games have the detrimental characteristics of a PD and that the frequency of PD-type games in a space of games with random payoffs does not exceed about 3.5%. Although this does not compellingly imply that the relevance of PDs is overestimated, in the absence of convergent empirical information about the ancestral human social niche, this finding can be interpreted in favour of a rather neglected answer to the question of how the founding groups of human cooperation themselves came to cooperate: Behavioural and/or psychological mechanisms which evolved for other, possibly more frequent, social interaction situations might have been applied to PD-type dilemmas only later.