Given limitations in their ability to process information, humans adopt a variety of heuristics or "rules of thumb" when making judgements or decisions regarding business problems, product choice and consumption options, and in their personal lives. The evolution of these heuristics over time has ensured that they produce generally good outcomes across a variety of contexts. However, they also lead to systematic, and sometimes substantial, errors in certain cases. This unit of study helps students understand biases in human decision making, and how they influence business and consumer decisions in everyday life. For each decision domain, the psychological heuristic is contrasted with the logical rule for producing an optimal outcome.
1x 3 hr seminar per week
class participation (10%), minor assignment (20%), presentation (10%), project (25%), final exam (35%)