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Meeting at Grand CentralUnderstanding the Social and Evolutionary Roots of Cooperation$
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Lee Cronk and Beth L. Leech

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154954

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154954.001.0001

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Meeting at Penn Station

Meeting at Penn Station

Coordination Problems and Cooperation

(p.124) Chapter 6 Meeting at Penn Station
Meeting at Grand Central

Lee Cronk

Beth L. Leech

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses coordination problems in relation to cooperation. Coordination problems are essentially problems of information: although people would benefit from coordinating their activities, they lack common knowledge about how to do so. Even worse, they may actually have common knowledge about how to solve the problem but not know it. Thomas Schelling recognized one way to overcome this problem: focus on prominent, salient focal points that others are also likely to focus on. The chapter first examines the so-called “Theory of Mind” or “mentalizing” before explaining how collective action dilemmas can become coordination problems. It also explores trust and conflict in coordination games such as Stag Hunt Games and the Battle of the Sexes Game, concluding with anti-coordination games and how coordination operates in the real world.

Keywords:   coordination problems, cooperation, Theory of Mind, collective action dilemmas, trust, conflict, coordination, mentalizing, common knowledge, anti-coordination games

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