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Applications of Behavioural Decision Science

  • Module code: PS7020
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

The Applications of Behavioural Decision Science module provides students with the opportunity to identify and address real-world issues that can benefit from research input by behavioural decision scientists. This module offers interactive lectures (seminars and workshops) for which students will read pre-assigned scientific articles to inform critical discussions on the limitations and implications of these concepts for the development of applied decision-making competence. The module offers applied research training – working in small research groups/teams under the supervision of KU lecturers. The students will also benefit from regular public lectures by internationally recognised researchers.

Aims

  • To deepen students' understanding and skills in applications of behavioural decision science.
  • To encourage critical thinking about behavioural science.
  • To promote awareness of the applications of behavioural decision research.

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of behavioural decision science and applications in real-world settings.
  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the methodological issues in behavioural science research.
  • Identify applied domains of decision science research.
  • Critically evaluate research in behavioural decisions science.

Curriculum content

  • Behavioural economics
  • Health and judgement and decision-making
  • Evaluating happiness and wellbeing
  • Fast and frugal decisions
  • Behavioural change and policy making
  • Not for profit behaviour
  • The science of giving and choice
  • Finance, pensions and choice
  • Deciding about the future
  • Group decision-making
  • Making decisions for others
  • Communication of risk

Teaching and learning strategy

Teaching will take the form of 22 two-hour weekly interactive lectures. Lectures will introduce topics and direct students to a pertinent literature. Students will be expected to complete set readings for each week. Review questions will be set and these will form the basis of the MCQ-component of the final exam at the end of the module

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Interactive lectures 44
Guided independent study 256
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Students will read in depth about recent developments in behavioural science to inform and motivate a 2000-word literature review which is worth 50% of the final mark. A two-hour exam worth 50% of the final mark held during the exam period in the second semester. The exam is composed of 60 multiple choice and short answers questions (drawn from the review questions set for each topic). Critical thinking skills will be assessed formatively during the weekly interactive lectures where pertinent primary literature is analysed and discussed. Developing a structured and principled critical essay plan will be assessed formatively with seminar exercises designed to encourage peer reviews of essay plans.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of behavioural decision science. Assessed formatively through interactive lectures and discussions and summatively though the literature review and MCQ.
2) Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of applications of behavioural decision science. Assessed formatively through interactive lectures and discussions and summatively though the literature review and MCQ.
3) Critically evaluate behavioural decision science research and applications Assessed formatively through interactive lectures and discussions and summatively though the literature review and MCQ.
4) Identify how recent behavioural science developments inform real world issues (health, economics and politics). Assessed formatively through interactive lectures and discussions and summatively though the literature review and MCQ.

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
CWK Literature Review 50
EXWR 2 hour examination 50
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Arieli, D. (2008). Predictably irrational. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Baron, J. (2003). Thinking and deciding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, C.R. (2008). Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Bibliography recommended reading

Ariely, D. (2012). The (Honest) truth about dishonesty. London: Harper Collins.

Baron, J., & Brown, R.V. (1991). Teaching decision making to adolescents. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Grindle M., & Thomas J. (1991). Public choices and policy change: the political economy of reform in developing countries. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Buse K, Mays, N., & Walt G. (2005). Making health policy. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Hastie, R., & Dawes, R.M. (2001). Rational choice in an uncertain world: The psychology of judgment and decision making. London: Sage Publications.

Hastie, R. (1994). Inside the juror: The psychology of juror decision making. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Oppenheimer, D. M., & Olivola, C. Y. (Eds.). (2010). The science of giving: Experimental approaches to the study of charity. New York: Psychology Press.

Romer, D. (2003). Reducing adolescent risk: Toward an integrated approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Shapiro, J., & Stefkovich, J.A. (2001). Ethical leadership and decision making in education, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ.

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