In Chapter 3 of the First Book of Kings, two women stand before King Solomon. Both claim to be the mother of a baby boy. King Solomon proposes a solution: “Cut the live child in two, and give half to one and half to the other (1 Kgs. 3:25).” The King assumes that the women care both about the baby and winning Solomon’s favor, but the real mother cares more about the baby and the imposter cares more about winning Solomon’s favor. Both women can either oppose the King’s solution or not oppose it. If both oppose the solution, the baby is surely saved. If the mother opposes the solution and the imposter does not oppose the solution, the baby may potentially be saved and given to the mother, but it may also be killed. The imposter, however, believes she will win the favor of the King. If the mother does not oppose the solution and the imposter does oppose the solution, the baby may potentially be saved and, if so, will go to the imposter. If neither the mother nor the imposter protests the solution, the baby will surely be killed.
You will be playing either the role of the real mother or the imposter. Once
the game begins, you will see the table below, which captures the essence of the situation. Payoff values are: 4= best; 3= next best, 2= next worst, 1 = worst.
You will get 6 experimental points for the most desirable outcome (4), 4 experimental points for the second-best (3), 2 experimental points for the third-best (2), and 0 experimental points for the least-desirable outcome (1). Your teacher will explain to you how these experimental points will be converted into extra credit points (remember that you are playing for extra credit points that are based on your payoffs in this game; don’t let your taste or distaste for one of the roles cloud your judgement).