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. In Chapter 5 it is mentioned that the RAND Corporation became known as what type of place?

2. Which one of von Neumann's friends and colleague used game theory to help the Allies improve bombing efficacy in Europe?

3. Besides Einstein, von Neumann was in the presence of such great thinkers as ____ at the IAS.

4. Bertrand Russell is a ___.

5. How old was von Neumann's daughter from his first marriage when she moved in with him?

Short Essay Questions

1. When was the Cold War and who was involved?

2. Why did Bertrand Russell suggest and believe in the merits of preemptive nuclear war?

3. What was the RAND Corporation?

4. What is a minimax solution and saddle points?

5. What was the doctrine of deterrence during the Cold War and what did it mean?

6. What were the results of Flood's experimental prisoner's dilemmas?

7. Besides all his work on the Manhattan Project, von Neumann also found time to help IBM. How did he help this company?

8. How did von Neumann end up working on the Manhattan Project and what did he produce while there?

9. What is the IAS?

10. Why do Poker and Baseball involve mixed strategies?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Merrill Flood was the first to analyze the irrationality of people with game theory. Who is Merrill Flood? How did he go about analyzing this behavior with game theory? What were his resulting conclusion(s)? Please cite specific methodologies; detail situation specifics and explain any reactions, input and/or feedback from his RAND colleagues.

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

In regards to the Flood-Dresher experiment the author tells a story about honor among thieves to explain the prisoner's dilemma that was first discussed in a paper authored by Flood. What was the original Flood-Dresher experiment like? What are some inherent problems with this dilemma? How can they be resolved for the best possible outcome for each player? What is the worst possible outcome for each player in this game model?

(see the answer keys)

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