Prisoner's Dilemma Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

William Poundstone
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. When did the RAND Corporation become home to many distinguished scientists?

2. Who developed the game model now known as a prisoner's dilemma?

3. Shortly after earning his PhD in mathematics, von Neumann moved to what country for a teaching position?

4. The RAND Corporation became know for "___" the unthinkable as they considered problems arising in varied situations?

5. Who conducted an experiment to see how real people would respond in the prisoner's dilemma game model?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the details of one of the ethical dilemmas described in Chapter 1 of "Prisoner's Dilemma"?

2. Why was von Neumann considered the "best brain in the world?"

3. Why did Russell and von Neumann advocate preventative war during the Cold War?

4. Who is John Nash?

5. What did Merrill Flood observe and conclude about his RAND colleagues as they left California at the end of summer?

6. What is a minimax solution and saddle points?

7. What is game theory according to Chapter 1 of "Prisoner's Dilemma?"

8. What was the Princeton social scene like while von Neumann was at IAS?

9. Why do Poker and Baseball involve mixed strategies?

10. What was the Manhattan Project?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Chicken has two Nash equilibrium points. What are they? Why does an irrational player have an advantage in a game of chicken? Explain the game of chicken in its simplest form on a highway and as Bertrand Russell presented it in relation to nuclear war. Which of the two strategies in the game of chicken has the maximum minimum? How was this strategy used in the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Essay Topic 2

In 1971 Martin Shubik published the dollar auction in a 1971 paper and is generally credited as the inventor of this game. What was involved in a game called "so long sucker?" Who collaborated on this game and how did it lead to the development of the dollar auction? How does Shubik describe a dollar auction and what makes it different from an auction at Sotheby's? What applications did the dollar auction have to real life and how did the dollar auction embody the non-rational behavior that many expected in game theory games as part of the logic of escalation in conflict?

Essay Topic 3

In real life dollar auctions the author writes about how many a justifiable action, in looking back, becomes the first "defection" in an escalating dilemma. How can you penalize the first bidder for not wanting to waste the "ninety-nine cent profit?" In relation to the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union what was the defection? Why was there a defection and how did this dilemma escalate as both sides designed more and more nuclear weapons?

(see the answer keys)

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