Kazemi, K. (2021). Decision-making and rationality: Adults and teenagers in the prisoner’s dilemma. The Young Researcher, 5(1), 4-37.
Human decision-making is largely analyzed by the field of behavioral game theory; however, little research has been done to compare adults’ and teenagers’ decision-making in game theory scenarios. A comparison of the two age groups could help future researchers better understand changes in decision-making with age. To do so, 146 participants (101 adults, 45 teenagers) from X County were surveyed on what their decision would be in the Prisoner’s Dilemma and how much certain decision-making factors influenced their decision. Results showed that there is no significant relationship between age group and rational decision making. Additionally, it was found that “fairness” guided adult decision-making the most while “trust” guided teenage decision-making the most. Such results point towards little to no difference between adults’ and teenagers’ rationality, but it is clear that the two age groups are guided by different decision-making factors within the Prisoner’s Dilemma.
Keywords: prisoner’s dilemma, behavioral game theory, adult decision-making, teenage decisionmaking, rationality, decision-making factors