Decision Making and Behavior

This course introduces students into the area of human judgment and decision making (JDM) via a framework grounded in behavioral research.

The primary course objectives are to:

  1. Provide a broad exposure to research in key substantive and methodological issues in the area of judgment and decision making;
  2. Enhance understanding of the normative standards by which performance is assessed, the descriptive models by which judgment and decision making are usually described, and the prescriptive solutions that are offered to improve JDM;
  3. Develop a perspective that helps students both to recognize the relevance of JDM in health settings and to conceptualize and design original research on patients decision making in health.
  4. Investigate the probabilistic approach to human reasoning within game theory frameworks
  5. Provide an overview of the principal theoretical models aiming to explain the abnormal cognitive and emotional processing in psychopathology. The abnormal brain functioning is used as a guide to better understand the mechanisms involved in non-pathological JDM.
  6. To recognized Impaired decision making in neuropsychiatric conditions such as dementia and drug addiction, and the inconsistencies and biases of healthy decision maker


Method of Instruction

The course will be primarily driven by research paper presentations and discussions. For each session several papers will be assigned. These papers will be first presented by students and then discussed in detail in class. The instructor will provide an overview and draw on other relevant work in the area.


Course evaluation

Course will be evaluated by assignments and final oral and written exams. Assignments will include a presentation, class participation, and a research paper proposal.

Course instructor: Prof. Schulz, Dr. Cugnata

Semester: Spring