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答案部分源自所谓的囚徒困境。国家可能会认为,通过背叛合作伙伴,可以为自己赢得更好的“交易”。在面临欺 骗的诱惑时,它们会变得担心乃至怀疑它们的合作伙伴——也面临着同样的诱惑——正在背叛它们。结果,它们更容易先发制人背叛伙伴。

博弈论为理性决策者之间的冲突与合作提供数学模型,对于克服囚徒困境,它一般无法给出合意的策略,更不用说解决实际冲突的最优策略了。但是,密歇根大学的罗伯特·艾克赛尔罗德(Robert Axelrod)的工作有望打破这一瓶颈。

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