A component of our module on sequential games. The game tree for these two games is a little simpler than for the 2×2 entry deterrence games. Yet each game captures a fundamental strategic problem . When should we, and when should we not, trust people? How can aggressive behaviour be sustained when one party clearly doesn’t want it to?
The first we is a situation of strategic loss of trust (in the face of predictable opportunism) – and one might wonder whether a promise would fix the problem of mistrust. The second is how non-cooperative, strategic avoidance of mutual arm can sustain one sided aggression/violence – and one might wonder whether a threat would fix the problem.
Note the adjective “strategic” applied to these games of (mis)trust and aggression . As per the definitions of game theory, conscious, intelligent rational thinking and reasoning about rational lines of play, and an awareness of each other’s rationality sustains the mistrust, the aggression.
- (1) and