Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Friday, March 15, 2013

How to make sure you always win!

This is the most awesome video showing how to ensure you always win when faced with the Prisoner dilemma/ Game Theory. I've watched the video several times, every time being completely amazed by this guy's genius!

The video is an excerpt from the British TV show called Golder Balls, game show based on Game Theory. It all comes down to the last round where the 2 contestants are asked to either split or steal the money in the jackpot. If both split, they share the money. If one splits and the other steals, the one that stole goes home with all the money. If both steal, they go home with nothing.

The guy in the brown shirt is remarkably smart about it. All along he's persuaded his partner to split, claiming that he will steal the money. Throughout the persuasive conversation he establishes mutual trust with the partner and he is also assertive. At no point does he hesitate or change his mind, all along asserting that he will steal and his partner should split, asking his partner to trust him that they will split the money in the end.

Off course they both end up splitting, each going home with half the money. The reason why this is genius is because even if he had stole and his partner split, they would probably still end up splitting due to giving his word on it. Even if he split (brown shirt guy) and partner stole, his partner would probably feel really bad and end up splitting the jackpot. Win-win all round!

It can be said that the persuasive technique used in this video is the reciprocity principle mediated by trust in the partner.Studies that have used the Prisoner dilemma paradigm have shown that in similar simulated games, participants tend to reciprocate each other's decisions, and even place trust in an anonymous partner (Berg, Dickhaut & McCabe, 1995).

Berg, J., Dickhaut, J., & McCabe, K. (1995). Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History. Games and Economic Behavior, 10, 122–142.

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