I hope I never have to negotiate against this dude…

by Jeff Hilimire on January 7, 2014

This is freaking brilliant. I hope I never have to negotiate against this dude.

  • JB

    Classic prisoner’s dilemma.

  • Bert Clark

    Note that the bald guy said “Why did you put me through that? You’re the worse person I’ve ever met.” Those two statements usually follow every successful but difficult negotiation.

  • Adam W.

    Wow. That was great, thanks.

  • Greg Horowitz

    It’s called a “commitment device”. Basically, the problem with a Prisoner’s Dilemma is that it discourages trust. Nick could say, “Let’s both agree to choose Split,” (in fact, that’s what Ibrahim proposes), but there’s a strong incentive to lie. So Nick eschews trust and instead uses a different tactic to encourage Ibrahim to choose Split. The specific commitment device he uses is known as the “Madman theory” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madman_theory). By convincing Ibrahim that he’s acting irrationally, Nick makes him realize he can’t appeal to him based on logic or honor, so instead he has to treat Nick’s mindset as a given that he must work around.nnInterestingly, as that Wikipedia article demonstrates, the problem with the Madman Theory is that it pretty much only works once. If you’re playing a repeat game, your opponent may conclude that it’s just a stratagem, and call your bluff. Certainly, if Nick and Ibrahim conducted the same negotiation again, Ibrahim would have no reason to believe Nick when he threatened to choose Steal.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Nice feedback, the Prisoner’s Dilemma, yep. It’s a one time thing but man, it was effective.

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