Special Topics in Psychology: Research on Judgment and Decision Making

Psyc 309A Fall 2001, MWF 11:00 - 11:50
In the Plant Sciences Teaching Theater (PLS 1129)

This course surveys the approaches in the psychology of individual decision making and choice behavior. Problems involving decision and choice will be posed in four ways:

In regard to the first question we will explore the mathematics of expected utility theory and game theory. The second question requires the empirical study of behavior and the development of psychological models to predict choice behavior. In the third question we will look at the cognitive shortcuts that help us make decision but also result in the fallibility of human judgment. Finally, in the last question we consider the use of decision analytic techniques, decision support systems, and computers as an interactive decision aid.

The course will be hosted in one of the electronic classrooms (Teaching Theaters) on campus and will make use of the hypermedia/interactive environment provided and the World Wide Web. Class time will be devoted to lecture, discussion, and class projects. Class projects will involve the development of practical applications of theories, the conducting short experiments on human decision making, or the development of decision aiding programs. Course grade will be based on a midterm exam, a final exam, and a paper.

Instructor: Dr. Kent L. Norman
Office: ZP3123F
Phone: 301/405-5924
kent_norman@lap.umd.edu

Texts:

Hastie, Reid & Dawes, Robyn, M. (2001). Rational Choice in an Uncertain World New York: Sage.

Plous, Scott (1993).The psychology of judgment and decision making. New York: McGraw Hill.

Selected readings from on-line materials.

Psyc 309: Special Seminar: Theories of Judgment and Decision Making

DateTopicReadingsAssignments
8/29/2001
Introduction
TT Manual
Personal Description
8/31/2001
Overview of Behavioral Decision Theory
H&D Ch 1

9/3/2001
Labor Day (no class)


9/5/2001
What is Decision Making?
H&D Ch 2
Survey
9/7/2001
Continued


9/10/2001
Making Judgments
H&D Ch 3
Decision Ability
9/12/2001
Selective Perception
Plous Ch 1

9/14/2001
Cognitive Dissonance
Plous Ch 2
Decision Situation
9/17/2001
Judgments from Memory
H&D Ch 4

9/19/2001
Memory Biases
Plous Ch 3
Scale Frame
9/21/2001
Availability Bias
Plous Ch 11

9/24/2001
Anchoring and Adjustment
H&D Ch 5

9/26/2001
Conitnued
Plous Ch 13

9/28/2001
Context
Plous Ch 4

10/1/2001
Judgment by Similarity
H&D Ch 6

10/3/2001
Representative Heuristic
Plous Ch 10

10/5/2001
Base Rates
Plous Ch 12

10/8/2001
Judging by Scenarios and Explanations
H&D Ch 7

10/10/2001
Overconfidence
Plous Ch 19

10/12/2001
Review


10/15/2001
Midterm Exam


10/17/2001
Randomness and Causation
H&D Ch 8

10/19/2001
Perception of Randomness
Plous Ch 14

10/22/2001
Rationality and Uncertainty
H&D Ch 9

10/24/2001
Correlation
Plous Ch 15

10/26/2001
Continued


10/29/2001
Evaluating Consequences
H&D Ch 10

10/31/2001
Overconfidence
Plous Ch 19

11/2/2001
Behavioral Traps
Plous Ch 21

11/5/2001
Preferences and Attitudes
H&D Ch 11

11/7/2001
Plasticity
Plous Ch 5

11/9/2001
Wording
Plous Ch 6

11/12/2001
A Normative, Rational Decision Theory
H&D Ch 12

11/14/2001
Expected Utility Theory & Paradoxes
Plous Ch 7 & 8

11/16/2001
(SJDM Meeting)


11/19/2001
(SJDM Meeting)


11/21/2001



11/23/2001
Thanksgiving Break (no class)


11/26/2001
A Descriptive, Psychological Decision Theory
H&D Ch 13

11/28/2001
Descriptive Models
Plous Ch 9

11/30/2001
Continued


12/3/2001
In Praise of Uncertainty
H&D Ch 14

12/5/2001
Self-Fulfilling Prophesies
Plous Ch 20

12/7/2001
Continued


12/10/2001
Review


12/13/2001
Final Exam (10:30 - 12:30 )