Prisoner’s Dilemma




Theimportance of an individual’s personality cannot be understated asfar as his capacity to relate with others or even experience growthand development in the long-term and the short-term is concerned.Indeed, scholars have underlined that the personality of anindividual determines the people and situations with which onerelates, his likes and preferences, as well as the behaviors that aredeemed appropriate for him. Personality, in this case, revolvesaround the individual variations among individuals with regard to thebehavioral patterns, emotions and cognition (Engler,2008).It underlines the individual variations in the patterns of behavior,thought and feeling processes. Similarly, it may be seen as acombination of motivations, thought patterns, behavior and emotionsthat define a person (Ryckman,2008).Needless to say, individuals in any society have some variations andsimilarities with regard to their personality. Indeed, not only dodifferent individuals have different personalities rather anindividual could be having different personalities subject to thesituations at hand.

Inthe game that I participated in with some family members and friendsor even individuals from the neighborhood, I realized that it ispossible for individuals to reveal an entirely new personality whenpresented with entirely new situations or circumstances.

Unfortunately,personality assessments were not a proper reflection of the behaviorsthat participants displayed in the course of the game. Indeed,personality assessments come off as considerably limited inevaluating the personality of individuals prior to, during and evenafter the games. Personality assessments primarily aim at outliningthe positive personality traits and evaluate the character strengthsof individuals. It is, therefore, acknowledged that the personalityassessments did not fully reflect the positive traits of individualsin the neighborhood. Indeed, the game forced me to invite or at leastallow individuals that I did not particularly like into the games. Iwas not so sure that I was going to like the game at all consideringthat the individuals were going to take part in them. However, theparticipation of the individuals revealed entirely new and positivepersonality traits that had remained hidden from the outside world.In this case, the personality assessment, which was undertakeninformally, did not accurately reflect the behaviors that individualsdemonstrated in the course of the game.

Thefundamental message that the assessments tell us regarding outperception of ourselves and others is that individuals are alwaysbiased against individuals that they do not have particularly goodknowledge of. Indeed, it is often the case that people will bereluctant to participate or collaborate with individuals that they donot know well of and prefer those that they know even when they donot like them. On the same note, as much as individuals assume thatthey know themselves well, they have limited knowledge of theircapabilities until they are forced to act in a particular way so asto achieve a certain thing.

Asin any type of a game, individuals will have to take particularroles. As much as certain roles were assigned to particular people inthe team, I noticed that it was the personality of individuals thatdetermined the role that a person took during the game. Indeed, I hadassigned particular individuals the roles of team captains andforward players, only for other people within the same team toundertake the responsibilities and tasks that would otherwise havebeen assigned by those formally assigned the roles. In essence, theroles assigned to individuals during the planning session took on anentirely different form after the game started.

Perhapsone of the most fundamental impacts or effects of my participation inthe game was the realization of my reaction and behavior inparticular instances. Indeed, I learnt that I have quite an extensiveleeway for tolerance and trust in individuals particularly when Ihave perfect knowledge of them. In instances where I know theirstrengths and have an idea regarding how they would act in particularsituations, I tend not to worry much about their next move. However,this is not always the case particularly where I am dealing withstrangers as I tend to jump to the worst case scenario. In essence, Ioften found myself going out of my way to play a role that had beenassigned to a stranger or at least giving a helping hand regardingwhat move the stranger should take even when he or she was evidentlyway better in the game than me. In instances where the new peopletook a position or played in a way that I had not anticipated, Ioften felt anxious and doubted their capabilities.

Onthe same note, the game was considerably eye-opening regarding thetendencies of other people that I thought I knew well. There is thisfriend that I had always thought to be immensely reserved to theextent that he would not interact as much with other people in theneighborhood or even in school. However, I should have known thatthat was his behavior when it came to academic and the day-to-daylife. However, when given a position of responsibility, he tends totake it up with zeal and sheds off the “reserved” trait. Indeed,they had taken the role of a defender, something that I thought theywould immensely fail in. however, they proved to be more competitiveand capable than I had previously imagined. Indeed, I had neverthought of them as having any knowledge about what defense entailed,in which case I was considerably doubtful of their capabilities inthe position and the team at large. However, they proved to be morecompetitive than I had imagined and even managed to teach me a thingor two about the position and the game.

Cooperativebehaviors are immensely crucial for the performance of any team.While my team performed exemplarily in the games, I believe thatthere were some loopholes particularly with regard to the level ofcooperation. The strategies that could have been used in improvingcooperation in the team are more or less similar to those that may beused in business. First, I could have involved the members of my teamin decision-making and planning of every aspect of the games(Maxwell,2002).This also applies to business entities where it is imperative thatthe leaders or managers involve their employees or subordinates inthe making of decisions particularly regarding issues that have adirect effect on them. Scholars have acknowledged that theparticipation of individuals in the decision-making increases theirownership for the teams and all its aspects, in which case theybecome fully committed to the goals, objectives and aspirations ofthe entity (Maxwell,2002).On the same note, it is imperative that one carefully selects theindividuals that are to be incorporated in a particular team. Ofcourse, the selection of participants in the game was considerablyrandom, as there was the need to have sufficient numbers. However, inthe case of businesses, managers and leaders cannot afford toincorporate such levels of randomness, rather it is imperative thatthey undertake proper selection of their team members. Scholars haveacknowledged that different individuals have varying likes andpreferences, as well as personalities (West,2012).These determine their compatibility in particular teams and withparticular teams. More often than not, teams whose members havedysfunctional personality traits have a hard time getting therequisite amount cooperation. Indeed, it is often the case that theteam members would be warring over varied issues, with no much hopefor getting a rapport. In essence, careful selection of individualsand considering their personality would be imperative in obtainingand improving cooperation both in teams and business entities(Maxwell,2002).Lastly, it is imperative that the individuals are offered appropriateincentives so as to motivate them to toe the line. In the team, themain incentive was winning the trophy and obtaining the braggingrights at least for the next few weeks. However, ensuring that thetrophies are in line with the needs and wants of the team members andemployees in the business entities is imperative (West,2012).The actions of individuals are often influenced by the gains thatthey would make from a particular course of action. In this case, itis imperative that the business entities come up with properincentives that would motivate individuals to toe the line andcooperate with others in the achievement of the stated goals.

Ofcourse, there are members who are adamant about having their way andare reluctant to cooperate with others. Indeed, one of the teammembers always wanted to be the one to score, in which case when hepossessed the ball, he would not pass it to other team members evenwhen they stood better chances. However, such members need to beincentivized to cooperate with others through universalizing therewards pertaining to winning, as well as underlining the tenets ofteamwork (West,2004).


Engler,B. (2008).&nbspPersonalitytheories: An introduction.Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Maxwell,J. C. (2002).&nbspTeamworkmakes the dream work.Nashville, Tenn: J. Countryman.

Ryckman,R. M. (2008).&nbspTheoriesof personality.Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

West,M. A. (2012).&nbspEffectiveteamwork: Practical lessons from organizational research.Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley &amp Sons.

West,M. A. (2004).&nbspEffectiveteamwork: Practical lessons from organizational research.Malden, Mass. [u.a.: Blackwell [u.a..