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Illinois Institute of Technology - BANR



Syllabus Information


Fall 2019
May 17, 2022
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Syllabus Information
Judgment and Decision-Making - 13648 - PHIL 380 - J01

Associated Term: Fall 2019
Levels: Undergraduate

Internet Campus
Lecture Schedule Type
Online Instructional Method

Learning Objectives: Course Description: This course will be taught entirely online, and asynchronously. Accordingly, there is no “face-to-face” component. We will use the Blackboard platform to do daily self-paced work (asynchronous), and the Blackboard test tool for the exams. Course Topic: This course presents a state-of-the-art discussion of research on judgment and decision-making. Decisions large and small are part of everyday life. What should I have for lunch? Should I save more for a comfortable retirement? Should I pursue a relationship with this person? Will this job make me happy? Should I have this lump removed? Usually, we don’t make the best decisions, even when we have the best information. The quality of our decision-strategies depends upon factors in economics, philosophy, and psychology. Philosophy contributes its canon of literature on inductive and deductive reasoning, and its focus on prescriptive questions about the purpose of good reasoning. Psychology offers experimental evidence of human capability in the area of judgment, and delineates the processing mechanisms that produce good decisions. Economics, as the science of policy, describes the structural conditions that promote good decision-making, and tracks the utilities, costs and benefits (both to individuals and societies) of those decisions. The course also examines the impact of psychological biases on personal decisions and public policies. It will treat such issues as: investor psychology, medical decision-making, psychological models of deliberate vs. automatic processes, intergenerational aspects of decision-making, and the scientific findings on happiness and well-being. The goal of scientific policies is to advance human well-being. This often requires the improvement of reasoning and an understanding of the sources of our errors. Accordingly, the course will examine the merits of individual and social planning as ways of compensating for the psychological biases that otherwise spontaneously control us.
Required Materials: Two Books: Gilovich, T. How We Know What Isn’t So Free Press ISBN: 0-02-911706-2 Trout, J.D. Why Empathy Matters: The Science and Psychology of Better Judgment Penguin ISBN: 0143116615
Technical Requirements: Access to computer, reliable wireless connection (You will be taking online exams.)

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