20 credits at level HE7
The module aims to examine selected topical issues on the psychology of decision making which are the subject of current theoretical interest or which have direct application to real life problems.
Introduction: varieties of decision; alternative psychological approaches to the study of decision making.
Overview of evaluation in decision making: utility theory, prospect theory’s value function and bounded rationality.
Multi-attribute utility and strategies for multi-attribute decisions – John Payne et al.’s effort-accuracy framework.
Framing and mental accounting – Richard Thaler et al’s research.
Process tracing and process models of decision making – the dominance structuring model, differentiation and consolidation theory, image theory.
Subjective probability and uncertainty; heuristics and biases research from the 1970s to the 2000s; risk perception.
Decisions involving risk and uncertainty: a historical overview; the subjectively expected utility (SEU) model; prospect theory and other generalised utility models; cognitive process explanations; emotions, ‘risk as feeling’ and the affect heuristic.
The naturalistic decision making approach: complex and dynamic decisions.
The time dimension: sequential decision making; the temporal integration of outcomes; intertemporal choice; time pressure.
Attitudes and Decision Making
Socio-cognitive factors and decision making processes: attitudes as predictors of decision behaviour; the role of intentions and their determinants; the Theory of Reasoned Action (T.R.A.) as an explanation of volitional behaviour; incomplete volitional control and the Theory of Planned Behaviour (T.P.B.).
Improving the prediction of behavioural decisions: expanded conceptualisations of the T.R.A./T.P.B.; the utilities and roles of additional constructs external to the standard models; belief importance; past behaviour; affect; moral norms.
The 24 hours contact over 12 sessions will consist of core lectures, seminars and student presentations. WebCT will be used for accessing research and other material and to supplement face-to-face communication. The typical student would require 200 hours (10 hours per credit point) of directed learning time in order to complete the module. This reflects the total workload, i.e. lectures, seminars, tutorials, library work, private study, assessment etc., about 13 hours per week over a 15-week semester.
Assessment is by coursework, with the main assignment being a 3.000 word essay. A powerpoint presentation is the important second assignment. To support students in developing these academic skills feedback will be given on initial non-assessed presentations and short essays.
when you have successfully completed this module you will:
to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcome you will:
|1.||Understand in detail key developments and current issues in the psychology of decision making (theory, evidence, application)||Compare and contrast different theories of the psychology of decision making. Detail key developments and the evidence that supports these developments. Explain how the psychology of decision making can be applied to everyday decision making and demonstrate understanding of the limitations in this process.|
|2.||Critically analyse psychological theory and evidence relating to decision making and synthesise different approaches||Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale underlying different approaches to the study of the psychology of decision making; evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches, the different methodologies used to collect data and the subsequent theories which are based on these processes.|
|3.||Appreciate the practical value and limitations of applied decision research||Assess how different theories can contribute to effective decision making and the limitations of such theories|
Your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module will be tested as follows:
|Description||An essay, maximum of 3,000 words||Oral Presentation, 20-25 minutes including discussion|
There are no prerequisites for this module.
No restrictions apply.
Baron, J. (2000). Thinking and deciding (3rd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Flin, R., Salas, E., Strub, M., & Martin, L. (Eds.) (1997). Decision making under stress: Emerging themes and applications. Aldershot: Ashgate.
*Gigerenzer, G. & Selten, R. (Eds.) (2001). Bounded Rationality : The Adaptive Toolbox. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press.
Gilovich, T., Griffin, D. & Kahneman, D. (Eds.) (2002). Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hardman, D. (2008). Judgment and decision making. Oxford, UK: Blackwell-BPS.
Hogarth, R.M. & Reder, M. W. (Eds.) (1987). Rational choice: the contrast between economics and psychology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Kahneman, D., Slovic, P. & Tversky, A. (Eds.) (1982). Judgement under uncertainty: heuristics and biases. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (Eds.) (2000). Choices, Values and Frames. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Klein, G. et al. (Eds.) (1993) Decision making in action: models and methods. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Montgomery, H., & Svenson, O. (Eds.) (1989). Process and structure in human decision making. Chichester: Wiley.
Montgomery, H., Lipshitz, R., & Brehmer, B. (Eds). (2004). How professionals make decisions. Mahwah, NJ: LEA Associates.
Payne, J., Bettman, J., & Johnson, E. (1993). The adaptive decision maker. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ranyard, R., Crozier, W.R., & Svenson, O. (Eds.) (1997). Decision making: cognitive models and explanations. London: Routledge.
*Salas, E., & Klein, G. A. (Eds.) (2001). Linking expertise and naturalistic decision making: Expertise, research and applications. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Schneider, S., Shanteau, J. (Eds.) (2003). Emerging Perspectives on Judgment and Decision Research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
* e-books in netlibrary
Attitudes and Decisions
Connor, M. & Sparks, P. (eds) (1996). Predicting Health Behaviour: Research and Practice with Social Cognition Methods. Buckingham, England: University Press.
Eagly, A.H. & Chaiken, S. (1993). The Psychology of Attitudes. New York : Harcourt Brace.
Eiser, J.R. and Van der Pligt, J. (1988). Attitudes and Decisions. London: Routledge.
O’Keefe, D.J. (1990). Persuasion: Theory and Research. CA: Sage.
Petty, R.E. and Cacioppo, J.T. (1996). Attitudes and Persuasion: Classic and Contemporary Approaches. Ohio: Westville Press.
|Host Subject Group:||Psychology and Life Sciences|
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