Written by Salome Roy, Year 13
On Wednesday 23rd September, KLASS had the pleasure of receiving an Economics workshop by our lunchtime guest, David Prentice, Professor at the University of Nottingham Malaysia.
The topic, called Game Theory, was for most of us a first time insight into the topic. Professor Prentice began by elaborating on the topic; how groups of people interact, but more precisely how intelligent individuals interact with one another in an effort to reach their own goals. We were given real life examples, such as India and Pakistan’s decision over nuclear armament. Upon giving us an overview of the economic concept, he then personalised it by leading a game. The scenario was called the Prisoner’s Dilemma whereby you hypothetically robbed a bank with your partner and you were caught by the police. However they do not hold the necessary evidence to sentence you for your entire act. Thus the police offers you a deal; if you confess to your act then your partner gets an additional 3 years sentence, whilst if you deny but your partner confesses to the act the additional 3 years are then on your account. If you both deny, then due to minor evidence, it only amounts to a 1 year sentence. The dilemma lies in how will you know what the other party opt for and thus how will that affect your decision-making.
Two students volunteered to participate in the experiment and the result came about with one student confessing and the other student denying. However, Professor Prentice then continued telling us that if the game was repeated or if players are told they could interact with each other in the future, the results may change significantly. Once again two students were invited to play the game and the conclusion showed that repetition opens up the possibility of being rewarded or punished for current choices and thus the obvious intuition is that suspects ought to cooperate.
This lecture provided us a very good taster to a topic that goes beyond our curriculum and an enlightenment for us students that are in the midst of choosing or wishing to pursue further studies in the subject area of Economics and Social Sciences.
Click here for this week's full issue - 2nd October 2015