By Russell Hardin
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Additional resources for Collective Action
Hence, if Row's choice does not influence Column's, then Row is better off defecting no matter what Column does. This is shown clearly by isolating Row's payoffs (see matrix la in figure 2-1 ): Row gets more in each column from defecting than from cooperating. Flood and Dresher, who discovered Prisoner's Dilemma, were concerned with testing John Nash's solution for noncooperative games (games in which players are not allowed to collude). 15 The game they created was strategically equivalent to the game of matrix 1 in figure 2-1.
The overt, conscious nature of a game experiment may therefore provoke a more cooperative response than would everyday instances of Prisoner's Dilemmas. ) ____________________ 22 Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority. -30- THE BY-PRODUCT THEORY Groups that happen to have been organized previously for other reasons, for example, for sociability, can occasionally cooperate to promote their interests. However, over the long term, the essential difference between the actions of such groups and the actions of traditional, organized interest groups (whose political activity Olson characterizes as a by-product) is that the narrowly defined, spontaneous groups commonly require some coordinating event to stimulate grouporiented behavior.
One widely touted philosophy of science criterion has been parsimony. Although it has obvious appeal in mathematics and in mathematical physics, the criterion is often either silly or without meaning in social explanation. In part, however, it may be a surrogate for some notion of economy, some complex combination of the marginal "cost" of additional bits of understanding and the quality of those bits. For example, in the modified logic of collective action, the additional bits are minuscule, extremely costly, and of painfully inferior quality.