TIT FOR TAT: SOME DOLPHIN-LIKE TIPS ON DEALING WITH THE PLANET’S ‘MOST DISHONEST SPECIES’

When you are using Tit for Tat as a strategy for dealing with people, you always cooperate on the first move. After that, you respond in kind. If your counterpart in an interaction cooperates in the next move or round, then you cooperate too. And hopefully, ever after.

But if the other party defects, you immediately deliver a calculated punishment of some kind as a signal that there is no free punch in interactions where you are involved. Then if the other party resumes cooperation, you forgive and forget and do what you can to get all parties to continue cooperating. Defection leads to defection. Cooperation leads to cooperation.

Excitement over Tit for Tat streaked through academic game theory research circles and out into the general discussion about how to handle mean people at roughly the same time—in the late Twentieth Century—that the dolphin mindset was being energized in more and more people. (Remember that game theory is a kind of analysis frequently used by academicians and other researchers to study human behavior, chiefly by studying the strategies people choose for dealing with each other.) Personally, your blog writer is loath to view this tandem development as coincidence. Tit for Tat as a way of inviting cooperation rather than simply striking a blow for justice is just the kind of idea whose value and utility you would expect dolphinthinkers to grasp faster than many others.

Many researchers grew interested in Tit for Tat during their studies of what in game theory is called the Prisoner’s Dilemma. If you aren’t familiar with Tit for Tat and Prisoner’s Dilemma, you can read up on the subject here. As you’ll note, if you do spend a little time reading the article at the other end of my link, you’ll find that numerous critics insist that Tit for Tat isn’t as valuable or dependable as a strategy for handling conflict and unfairness as it has been made out to be. But even its critics usually agree that it puts the spotlight on some very important decision-making choices.

One of Tit for Tat’s most outspoken admirers is Jonathan Wallace. He is a Harvard Law graduate and former software company executive who continues to write on ethical issues in his retirement in Amagansett, NY. Wallace once explained:

I am a cooperative person—I find a kind of chemical high in good teamwork—and for years it was my unexamined strategy to continue extending cooperation far beyond the point at which it should have been apparent there would be no reciprocity. . . . I always cooperated . . . because I was a naïve optimist. I always believed that if I cooperated long enough, even unilaterally, the other player would come to trust me, and see the value of cooperation. What I refused to see is what the prisoner’s dilemma teaches: anyone who plays the “All Cooperate” strategy is a sucker, and [provides an incentive to] the other to defect on every move. I now believe that the lesson of the prisoner’s dilemma is that a robust ethic succeeds where a weak one fails. Be fair, be strong, reward cooperation and punish defection, and you will have nothing to regret.

I happen to agree pretty much with Wallace, with whom I’ve corresponded on the subject.

‘THE MORNING AFTER’ TEST AND OTHER TIT FOR TAT VARIATIONS
And yet Tit for Tat doesn’t work with everyone every time and indeed with many parties much at all. Here are things to think about when you are thinking of retaliating:

• Consider how your retaliation may impact “innocents” if they are present when you act (for example, delivering strongly worded grievances in the presence of children).

• Try to identify a way of retaliating that stops short of the risk of permanently damaging a relationship (for example, can you leave your defector room to save face or a route back into the relationship if he/she proves to be conciliatory?)

• Be alert to possible ways your defector may counter-retaliate and prejudge as best you can your vulnerabilities to them (for example, if you sue, what is the likelihood that the defector will also sue you?).

• Use “the morning after” test. How important and effective is the act of retaliation you have in mind going to appear to you tomorrow?

• Is there a way to retaliate that essentially moves matters back to “zero,” or where they were when the defection occurred (for example, if it is possible to do so, what if you demanded that the defector restore things to where they were before?).

• Apply the “shadow of the future” rule. The more you’re likely to need someone’s cooperation in the future, the more important it is to do what you can to keep your retaliation from closing that door.

• What are others going to consider appropriate in the circumstances involved? (If others know about it, a retaliation that is appropriate usually enhances your reputation in the circles you move in. A retaliation that doesn’t “fit the crime” can do just the opposite.)

• If the defection has damaged or poses a threat to the community-at-large, then you may want to get others involved in the retaliation (lone voices speaking up in favor of “the commons” can end up being more lonely still if no one else rallies to the cause).

Political scientist Ken Binmore (who is the author of the article I furnished the link to above) argues that Tit for Tat works best when aimed at persons who have grown up within middle class insider (or establishment) groups. In such groups, says Binmore, you quickly learn that reciprocating cooperation is the only way to go or else soon you’ll be an outsider yourself. Then he adds,

Nature has not brought the same sweetness and light . . . to the world at large. The outsiders who lurk in dark alleys with rape and mayhem in their hearts are neither nice nor forgiving. Nor do sharks only cruise in murky waters. They also swim in brightly lit boardrooms and patrol the corridors of power. Such upper-crust sharks show beautiful teeth as they prey on our bank accounts and raid the pension funds of elderly widows. [We] would be the fools they take us for if we returned the smiles with which they try to convince us that they are nice people like ourselves.

So if you can’t depend on Tit for Tat to work with the sharkthinkers you encounter, what do you do?

Learn to spot the sharkthinkers early. Then use extreme caution. In business, insist on good, enforceable contracts. Watch your back. Use good lawyers. Get the best information you possibly can at all times. Be cautious during all the times following when the sharkthinker cooperates; it is quite likely that they cooperated last time only because they needed you or because you held a winning hand that time. Anytime they demonstrate no intention of being nice, make every effort to get out of the pool or at least remain beyond the range of their marauding jaws and unforgiving teeth.

GIVING WHAT YOU GET—WATCHFULLY, STRATEGICALLY, REALISTICALLY
Our actual design as humans brings many good things but it also brings with it the cruel and egocentric capacity to be the cause of others’ suffering and needs or to be indifferent to them. Our genes—our selfish genes—make us capable of becoming skilled, calculated liars, not to mention self-promoters and social climbers. We are preset to deceive ourselves grandly, in part so as to make us more effective at deceiving others. “We are far from the only dishonest species, but we are surely the most dishonest, if only because we do the most talking,” observes Robert Wright in his provokingly thoughtful book, The Moral Animal.

Mix in a sharkthinker or two, and the world becomes a very different and often difficult place. All the more reason to be the most astute, skillful and well-informed Tit for Tat player that you can be.

Bookmark and Share

93 Comments

  1. I was excited to discover this website. I want to to thank you
    for ones time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely
    loved every little bit of it and i also have you book-marked
    to see new stuff on your site.

  2. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an shakiness over that you wish be delivering
    the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside
    case you shield this increase.

  3. essex lawyer says:

    This web site really has all the info I needed about this subject and
    didn’t know who to ask.

  4. Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.

    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe
    guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My site covers a lot of
    the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.

    If you are interested feel free to shoot me an email.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the
    way!

  5. Very good site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any user discussion forums
    that cover the same topics discussed in this article?
    I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get opinions from other
    experienced individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Thanks!

  6. Nice blog here! Also your site loads up very fast! What web host are you using?
    Can I get your affiliate link to yourr host? I wish my site loaded up aas fast as yours lol

    Here is mmy site – live website (pusipgo.wordpress.com)

  7. Whawts up are using Wordpress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to thhe blog world buut I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do yoou require any html coding expertise to make your owwn blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  8. My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find almost
    all of your post’s to be precisely what I’m looking for.
    Do you offer guest writers to write content for you personally?
    I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write with regards to
    here. Again, awesome website!

  9. If you want your fans to take a precise action, you want to tell
    them. No matter whether it really is to like your post,
    subscribe to your newsletter or buy your book, let them know.
    facebook likes buy india – http://www.brokenboxdesign.com,

  10. Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

  11. Providing health care for all workers and their families is a very good way to improve the benefit that workers receive
    for the worst forms of work, to render workers less vulnerable, and to express
    social and. ” British health care is delivered through the National Health Service (NHS), which like Canada is publicly funded through tax contributions and national insurance contributions from employees, employers, individuals, and the government. Bacillus bacteria play a crucial role in maintaining the hormonal and chemical balance of your body.

  12. YT says:

    While removing the old flooring and installing a new bulb, turning off the lights in your rooms.

    A written and fixed price would assure you there wouldn’t be surprises when you pay
    for your tuition fees. It is also important that
    the gforce green electric right kind of electrical cabling and gear automobiles among
    them trucks and cars. Even additional not hiring a proper electrician can lead you
    to spending more money in the long run. Before
    hiring electrical contractor and includes a software application with more
    than 10 years in the market.

  13. Annual salaries for athletic directors range from $26,793 to $ninety
    six,086 as of March 2012, depending on expertise, tenure and job obligations, in keeping with restricted information from The competitors for these jobs is fierce, and those with teaching and management experience can have the most effective prospects.

  14. Have you ever considered creating an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you
    share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would appreciate your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

  15. here says:

    Hi there i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere,
    when i read this paragraph i thought i could also
    create comment due to this brilliant article.

  16. You are so cool! I do not think I have read anything like this
    before. So wonderful to find another person with unique thoughts
    on this issue. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up.
    This site is something that is needed on the web, someone with
    a little originality!

  17. I have read a few good stuff here. Definitely
    value bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you place to create the sort of great informative
    web site.

  18. When tristar lawyers your car’s transmission. When there is a leak in this area of the engine configurations first and also focus on enhancing the engine power and a clutch that is operated by
    foot. This means that the gears do not grind
    directly on one another. Common Transmission Repair Problems for MotorcyclesThis article explains
    some of the customer reviews, that way you know the” feel” of your car for transmission repairs, heavy repair
    costs can be quite costly.

  19. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a
    doubt donate to this excellent blog! I suppose for now
    i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.

    I look forward to fresh updates and will
    share this site with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  20. ice makers says:

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I
    am impressed! Extremely helpful info specially the last part :) I care for such info a lot.
    I was looking for this particular information for a very long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

  21. Tandy says:

    Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?

    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I
    ended up losing many months of hard work due to no back up.
    Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

  22. Rebbeca says:

    each time i used to read smaller articles or reviews that as
    well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this post which
    I am reading here.

  23. I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts in this kind of house .
    Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this website.

    Reading this info So i’m happy to exhibit that I’ve a very
    just right uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed.
    I such a lot without a doubt will make sure to don?t omit this web site and give it a glance
    regularly.

  24. Wonderful article! We are linking to this particularly great post on our website.
    Keep up the good writing.

  25. Extremely light-weight and moveable, weather-resistant solar panel lets you charge handheld USB/12V
    gear directly from the solar. Keep your phones,
    cameras, even tablets charged with the facility of the solar.
    Use with a Goal Zero Portable Power Pack to cost your gear and devices
    day and night time. Our largest foldable panel ensures you are gathering
    the most energy from the solar for your gear.

  26. With latest operating system, great hardware inside, Android user can install any
    application or game they want to with maximum performance.
    It also sports a four layer method to protect the i – Phone, which also
    keeps all of the phones ports and buttons sealed, ensuring that dust and sand stays on
    the outside, rather than invading your smartphone.
    Smartphones, A Growing Segment of the Handset Market.

  27. Beatrice ha cinque anni e gioca nella sua cameretta assegnando il ruolo del papà a un pompiere di
    plastica, quello della mamma a un enorme bambolotto biondo e alla Barbie riserva di interpretare proprio la piccola Beatrice.
    Qui, ho provato a cercare chi da una fotografia crea
    un pupazzo o una bambola. Vi presento alcuni di quelli che
    ho trovato.. 9Quand la santé l’oblige à renoncer à l’enseignement,
    Pareto n’a aucune hésitation à proposer Millioud comme son remplaant.

    Il écrira aux autorités universitaires: Nous avons la chance d’avoir, en notre collègue Millioud, l’homme qui peut
    donner un enseignement vraiment scientifique de
    la sociologie. Cette chance, il ne faudrait pas la négliger et la laisser échapper9.

    prada borse rafia
    borse louis vuitton vintage outlet arezzo prada

  28. smartphone says:

    During the show the entire Magic Kingdom Park is transformed into a heaven of Halloween
    adventures, including spectacular fireworks, grand parade, and
    ample trick-or-treat opportunities. Or you can have a magical trick-or-treating
    experience at the numerous candy locations all over the park with the kids.
    As to how often you should clean your iphone depends on how often you use it.

  29. If you believe this is the case, contact Microsoft
    and have them verify your Windows 7 key.

    Plus we were asked to leave it for 12 to 16 hours for each bottle to get
    magnetized — and that was with huge magnets of a very high power.

    By Search Engine Optimization, a web page can go higher
    up the Google rankings, thus increasing its visibility to
    the target audience.

  30. Amazing! Its truly remarkable piece of writing, I have got much clear idea about from this piece of writing.

  31. reklamy says:

    What i don’t realize is in reality how you are now
    not actually much more neatly-favored than you might
    be now. You’re very intelligent. You know thus significantly
    in relation to this topic, produced me for my part imagine it from numerous numerous angles.
    Its like men and women are not involved until
    it is one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your personal
    stuffs outstanding. Always deal with it up!

  32. Thanks for finally writing about > LEAP!psych: The blog on FINDING AND MOBILIZING WHAT NEEDS TO COME NEXT

  33. Actor and singer Patrick Bruel was considered one of
    France’s biggest stars in the ’90s, first making his name as a teen idol and leading a positive to traditional French chanson within the new millennium.

    Bruel was created Patrick Benguigui throughout Tlemcen, Algeria,
    on, may 14, 1959. Their father abandoned the household when Patrick
    was just a year old, in addition to 1962, after Algeria acquired its independence, his
    mommy moved to France, deciding inside Paris suburb involving Argenteuil.
    A fine soccer player within the youth, Patrick first chosen the idea of being a singer after seeing Michel Sardou perform in 1975.

    As good luck could have it, acting would provide him his first achievements;
    first-time home Alexandre Arcady ran an ad seeking a fresh man using a French-Algerian (or “pied-noir” in This
    particular language slang) accent for his film Le Coup hun Sirocco.

    Benguigui (as having been still called) responded and acquired the part.
    The next year, he spent time in Ny, where he fulfilled Gérard Presgurvic,
    later to get his primary composer.

    Source: http://subtitratromana.info/nurse-jackie-sezon-6-episod-11-sisterhood-online-subtitrat

  34. http://www.olimpet.hu/nike-air-max/sitemap-7.xml The March Vanity Faіr articlе was the
    fоcսs of the most recent teary episode (crying seems to be
    a theme for Neiers).

  35. Read on-line critiques and ensure it is an excellent game prior to buying it.
    Getting good quality poker chip sets is an absolute must.

    Similar to the other With Friends games, people can enjoy playing against different people simultaneously and at their own pace.

  36. naturally like your web-site but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts.
    A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very troublesome
    to inform the reality however I’ll certainly come back again.

  37. Hello There. I found your weblog using msn. That is
    an extremely well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it
    and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the
    post. I’ll definitely comeback.

  38. It’s in fact very complex in this busy life to listen news
    on Television, thus I simply use web for that purpose, and take the newest information.

  39. SWTOR Hack says:

    What’s up to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this web site, and your
    views are fastidious in favor of new users.

  40. Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend
    your website, how could i subscribe for a blog website?

    The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  41. Plugins enable you to add new effects, file types, fonts, etc.
    What do they do you bet do they help us with solar power.
    This features of the Instagram For Android are responsible to its popularity.

  42. Hey very interesting blog!

    Look at my web page :: soccer lessons seattle

  43. This will get you traffic to your site and make money.
    However Yahoo marketing and other pay per click search
    engines offer some excellent traffic at a more
    reasonable price. Daily, even hourly, businesses can see how many individuals clicked
    on their ads and the traffic that is being driven to their website.

  44. smoke says:

    White smoke should not be confused with the thin wisps of steam that comes from the tailpipe when you start your car.

    A head gasket failure results in a leak, which in turn produces
    white smoke. Instead of acting as a physical or mental stress reliever
    it actually increases them.

  45. This website truly has all of the information and facts I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  46. BALLSTEP2 says:

    There are a variety of Websites that offer free details on how to play on the
    internet Casino Games but a lot more importantly, how to use different methods and techniques
    to greater improve your chances of winning in these games.

  47. What’s up to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from
    this site, and your views are pleasant designed for new visitors.

  48. Great weblog right here! Additionally your site so much up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink on your host? I want my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  49. WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for excel find duplicates in list

  50. next page says:

    Ahaa, its nice conversation regarding this paragraph at this place at this website, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at
    this place.

  51. thanks you for sharing

  52. princeghinga says:

    Its nice conversation ….I like it…..I readed carefully ………..its amazing…

  53. Hi I am so happy I found your blog page, I really found you by accident, while
    I was researching on Askjeeve for something else, Anyhow I am here now
    and would just like to say thanks for a marvelous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have saved it
    and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep
    up the fantastic work.

  54. GREAT AND AWESOME

  55. Thanks for finally talking about > LEAP!psych:
    The blog on FINDING AND MOBILIZING WHAT NEEDS TO COME NEXT

  56. learn more says:

    get the best clock sync anywhere

  57. I enjoy, cause I discovered just what I was looking for.

    You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have
    a great day. Bye

  58. autoliker says:

    I do agree with all of the concepts you’ve presented on your post.
    They’re really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for starters.
    Could you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time?

    Thanks for the post.

  59. And you want to mark your presence on the most popular Whats – App
    Messenger. Moreover, people can see your profile picture even if they don’t have your contact number.

    So I kept my Black – Berry as my home phone and my i –
    Phone as my travel phone.

  60. To make them just put a bit of bit of melted sweet or chocolate in every cavity on the tray and then lower up items of cake that can fit the cavities and put them into each making sure to press down on the cake a little to be
    sure that there is no bubbles trapped in there.

  61. The deposit ticket and the Transportation Smart Card holders can enjoy a 5%
    discount after they take the subway.

  62. Sepatutnya beli 3keping tiket BIT baru Ero
    four.50 berbanding tiket 24hr berharga Euro7.

  63. I bought this web site from my buddy who shared with me on the subject of this web site and now this time I
    am visiting this site and reading very informative articles or
    evaluations right here.

  64. comment-436 says:

    Turtleneck sweaters are one of winter style clothes’ many
    versatile items.

  65. An online store is the soul of online enterprise, therefore, it can not afford to be
    clumsy.

  66. nice blog. i just searching on google and found your link. thank you for very nice information.

  67. So to start with discover the update bit and run it – then discover the scan bit and run fast scan.

  68. Does although quite informative, not for beginners
    that are complete target some basics around method and posture.

  69. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everyone else encountering problems with your website.
    It appears like some of the text within your content are running off the
    screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too?
    This may be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Cheers

  70. episode says:

    Excellent post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed!

    Extremely useful info specially the last section :) I maintain
    such info a lot. I used to be seeking this certain info for
    a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  71. Johnette says:

    According to the area and also kind of movie you plan to look at, you will
    certainly have the capacity to experience other tones, and also various other cultural expressions from the English foreign language.

  72. Definitely worth a trip.
    Desert safari is a fantastic activity one must try when been to Dubai.
    Loved your series.

  73. This is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Simple but very accurate information? Appreciate your sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  74. Snobs shows award? MVP in a big hurry on foot this was
    taken; AJ13, aptitlig once more, these days; At present the most photogenic running shoes: atmosphere GET MAX two thousand and thirteen…

    My web blog nikeairpegasusjk.wordpress.com

  75. No doubt worth a trip. Dubai Desert safari is an activity which is best memory for the people.

  76. potencja says:

    Most of the girls are choosing the basic sheepskin slip shoes, as they are comfortable and stylish.
    Media doesn’t really know how to handle it and this was never more clear when we saw the Vogue Italia cover for June 2011.
    Moccasin UGG slippers are quite popular among the men.

  77. erekcja says:

    Many of these new creations are about shape and texture as much as color and style.

    Bourne’s President, Thomas Mc – Claskie, always uses his creative imagery
    to make trendy shoes for men. Fresh pairs of UGG products arrive in latest designs
    and fake boots are replicas of these originals.

  78. 315 says:

    After his death, the business was successfully carried on by his three sons.
    Thread and stitching – thread used in stitching is always the same
    as the colour of the leather. Moccasin UGG slippers are quite popular among the men.315

  79. William says:

    The Article is So detailed and amazing some people may say that there are bitter words but would like to say that it’s just a bitter truth and thank you so much for posting on this topic. Well, I’m also Writing an article on Evening Desert Safari, Please, suggest me something on this, Thankyou.

  80. Beautiful post, Nice and Informative sharing we can hope we will find more on this.

  81. Kathryn says:

    Aw, this was an extremely good post. Finding
    the time and actual effort to make a superb article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and don’t manage to get anything done.

  82. magento ecommerce analytics…

    LEAP!psych: The blog on FINDING AND MOBILIZING WHAT NEEDS TO COME NEXT …

  83. singapore wedding decoration company…

    LEAP!psych: The blog on FINDING AND MOBILIZING WHAT NEEDS TO COME NEXT …

  84. Nice and Informative post, thank you such a nice sharing….

  85. buy cvv says:

    Right here is the right website for anybody who wants to
    understand this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you
    (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a
    topic that’s been written about for decades. Great stuff,
    just excellent!

  86. Thank you for sharing this article with us…

  87. Japanese Bridge in Cranbrook Japanese Garden.

  88. Bridges may be built of wooden, bamboo, earth or stone.

  89. A purple bridge in a Japanese backyard with double rails.

  90. You could have simply seen 15 Japanese themed bridges.

  91. Hi to every single one, it’s truly a pleasant for me to visit
    this site, it consists of important Information.

  92. Hi, of course this post is truly pleasant and I have learned
    lot of things from it regarding blogging. thanks.

  93. desert says:

    This is such a fun itinerary. When I visited Dubai, a friend of mine managed everything including itineraries and budget. She managed to get us a great deal and showed us around town.

Leave a Reply