The Prisoner’s Dilemma

Over the years, I have produced a number of documents based on the interest of one student. This reading on the prisoner’s dilemma and its vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet are one such set of documents.

My own first exposure to the prisoner’s dilemma came from a friend who encountered it as an undergraduate in what, if memory serves, was a history course. This same friend went on to law school, so he may have encountered it there. In any case, the prisoner’s dilemma is part of a broader study of mathematical models of human cognition and resultant conduct called game theory. I actually started to develop a unit on game theory when I realized two things: the first was that the student for whom I prepared the material offered in this blog post wasn’t as interested in it as he thought; the second was that I was woefully unqualified to teach a single lesson on game theory, let alone a whole unit.

If you have the time–I didn’t–a unit on game theory might be just the thing for a certain kind of student. However, it is a complicated field, and even adapting it for struggling or alienated high school students is no small task.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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