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Sip or Squirt

Sip or Squirt
Do you trust your partner—or wind up all wet?

This two-person drinking fountain was inspired by the Prisoner's Dilemma, a famous paradox of game theory: Do you choose to sacrifice your companion—and to some degree yourself—rather than risk being a trusting chump? 

What's going on?

The original Prisoner’s Dilemma centers on two accused criminals deciding whether or not to rat on their partner, with the least punishment only possible if both decide to trust one other.

The concept applies more broadly though to economics, politics, environmental issues, and even sports. In professional cycling, for example, many athletes engage in doping out of fear of being the only person not doping.

Can you think of a Prisoner’s Dilemma you’ve encountered in your own life?

Rubric showing the possible outcomes of the Sip or Squirt exhibit This rubric details the possible outcomes based on your choice—and your partner’s. As in other Prisoner’s Dilemma scenarios, the best outcome for all requires trust on both parts. (click image to enlarge)

Resources

IMLS acknowledgment

This web project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [MA-30-16-0175-16].


IMLS acknowledgment

This web project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [MA-30-16-0175-16].