Last week the New York Times sponsored Freakonomics blog was gracious enough to quote part of my Bachelor Pad Game Theory post. Not only did I appreciate the extra couple hundred hits, I got some great comments from the loyal Freakonomics readers. One of them mentioned a similar situation in a British reality TV show called Golden Balls. Here's how it works:
I mentioned in my original post that I thought the glances exchanged by the Bachelor Pad contestants were important for their ability to trust each other. In the video above, and in other examples online, it seems a lot of exchange between contestants doesn't improve the likelihood of sharing. In fact in a study done on the British game show, contestants were not more likely to cooperate if their opponent was expected to cooperate. Overall, 45% of contestants in the study cooperated and apparently higher stakes slightly decreased the chances of cooperation, unless the contestant's occupation requires a trustworthy reputation.