We like to believe that decision making involves simply weighing up the pros and cons of the different options before selecting the best one, so when people fail to do this (as they often do) they are viewed as irrational. However this viewpoint has been shown to be inaccurate even for important decisions. This unit will provide an introduction to how short-cuts, biases and emotion are integral to human decision making. These factors are often systematic, so we are expectedly irrational. You will first learn to recognize the common heuristics (short-cuts) and biases that have been identified by evaluating existing research and through demonstrations. From this foundation you will explore decision making more deeply and develop an understanding of the broader frameworks for comprehending it. You will then focus on the implication this has for improving your own decision making and how we can better present information and options to improve other people's decision making. From a public policy point of view these insights can be used to help nudge people towards beneficial choices, though advertisers also capitalize on these biases to influence human behaviour.
12x1 hour online modules. 3x1 hour face-to-face tutorials.
Online quizzes (25% total); mastery quizzes (10%); written assignment (25%, 750 words); final in-class exam (40%, 25 minutes)