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 1 the author gives examples of hypothetical situations that deal with some kind of ___ problem, such as the two people in different rooms who have to decide whether to push a button.

2. John von Neumann was from a family of ___ Jews.

3. In Chapter 3 we are presented with examples of games that use mixed strategies, but this does not include which game below?

4. The Manhattan Project was a secret U.S. government program to build what?

5. Who developed a mathematical way to extend von Neumann's game theory beyond the original game theory insights?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. Who is Bertrand Russell?

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

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

6. Who is Merrill Flood?

7. What kind of studies did RAND conduct?

8. What is prisoner's dilemma?

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

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

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

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 3

How did the strategic thinking of the Cold War become the logic of mathematical game theory as developed by von Neumann and his partner? Who was involved in the Cold War? Who were key players on either side of the conflict?

(see the answer keys)

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