Jack Jean Rousseau's Two Case Of The Stag Hunt (SH) Game

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Introduction The Stag Hunt (SH) game was first created by Jack Jean Rousseau’s A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality in 1755 (Kimbrough, 2005). In the original source, he proposed a case where two hunters who can work together to hunt a big reward, the stag, or hunt alone and hunt a smaller hare. This essay will offer two cases of the Stag Hunt game. The first is killer whale (orca) carousel feeding. They may collaborate with other orcas to round up fish and the eat them all, known as carousel feeding (Similä, 1997), or may defect and eat what fish they find. Carousel feeding only works if they work together. The second case is a completely different situation: showing late up to a party. Individuals will only show up early to a party if they know all other will do so too (Farnam Street, 2009). If they doubt this, they will arrive late, which yields a smaller reward in the form of less fun. The main difference that this essay will attempt to explain is why players in the first case converge on cooperation, whereas on the latter they converge on defection. The Theory The SH differs from its more widely known relative the prisoner’s dilemma (PD) in a series of ways. Firstly, unlike in the PD, in the SH it does not always pay to defect, as there are two pure strategy Nash equilibria (Skyrms, 2003) instead of one in the PD (defect, defect). SH has two underlying assumptions: the game is played once (non-sequential), and there are no means of bargaining (Kimbrough, 2005).

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