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14

Here's a silly example: Give students collections of the same type of thing, where each collection contains "good" objects and "bad" objects -- for example, a stack of Pokemon cards with both rare and common cards. We might assume common cards are worth $1$ and rare cards are worth $5$. Have ready another stack of cards that are all common -- call this the "...

10

I found out about the Prisoners' Dilemma as a kid from a book about the Harry Potter phenomenon, which had a chapter about the problem, but presented as a story about Harry and Draco being accused of breaking school rules. Each was offered the same deal as in the original problem, formulated with House Points being taken away instead of a prison sentence. ...

8

I like Nick C's idea more than modifying the typical formulation. The notion of snitching on a friend, regardless of the severity of the "crime", has real-world ramifications beyond the punishment put out by the authorities. Depending on your student population, that is possibly going to spur a conversation that will overshadow the objectives of your ...

3

Perhaps: You and another classmate are together in an obstacle course. If you both make it to the end within a minute, you each get a free day off from school. If just one of you makes it to the end in a minute, they get a whole week off. You know that if you had the other student's help, you could easily finish in a minute, but without it, you ...

2

It sounds like you wish to protect your students from the violence and greed of the adult world, while still making the dilemma real enough to keep them engaged. To that effect, I offer two solutions. One, replace prison with detention. Make the crime something like using cell phones in class or throwing spitballs. Two, have them arbitrarily grade each ...

1

My suggestion would be to look at the existing literature. Blake, Rand, Tingley, and Warneken (2015) "introduce a novel implementation of the repeated Prisoner's Dilemma (PD) designed for children to examine whether repeated interactions can successfully promote cooperation in 10 and 11 year olds." Dealing with younger children (ages 6-11), Fan (2000) ...

1

Use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports is a good example. However, why the objection to money and capitalism? Real-life actors value money very much and it affects their behavior greatly. A very realistic and applicable example involving money is what happens when a group of friends goes dining, depending on whether each friend pays for themselves or ...

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