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Unit of study_

MKTG6104: The Psychology of Business Decisions

Semester 2, 2020 [Normal evening] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

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.

Unit details and rules

Unit code MKTG6104
Academic unit Marketing
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Jeffrey Lim,
Lecturer(s) Jeffrey Lim,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Open book) Type C final exam Final exam
Written exam
35% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Presentation group assignment Presentation
10% Multiple weeks 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Participation Class participation
10% Ongoing Subject to task
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Assignment group assignment Minor assignment
Written/visual task
20% Week 06
Due date: 02 Oct 2020 at 23:00

Closing date: 09 Oct 2020
1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment group assignment Project
Written/visual task
25% Week 12
Due date: 20 Nov 2020 at 23:00

Closing date: 27 Nov 2020
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type C final exam = Type C final exam ?

Assessment summary

  • Class participation: A key purpose of our class discussions is to foster learning and interaction with one another, expanding on the themes covered in the assigned readings and beyond. Students are required to make constructive contributions and engage in various in-class and outside class activities.
  • Minor assignment: The focus of this assignment is to build upon our understanding of heuristics and biases by showcasing how they are currently applied in real-life, and the outcome they have on our judgment & decision-making.
  • Presentation: For this component, groups will showcase their project insights in week 11 and 12.
  • Project: The project’s theme will be available during the semester & discussed in class.
  • Final exam: This individual component is designed to test your understanding of the course materials presented during the semester. It will be held during the formal examination period scheduled by the Exams Office.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Unit overview; 2. Introduction to decision making Seminar (3 hr) LO1
Week 02 Common decision biases Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 03 Heuristics Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 04 Bounded awareness Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 05 Framing matters Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 06 Commitment and consistency Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 07 Motivational and emotional influences Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 08 Experience and group influences Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 09 Fairness and ethics in decision making Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 10 Closing insights - some lessons we can benefit from Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 11 Project showcase Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 12 Revision, Project showcase Seminar (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4

Attendance and class requirements

Lecture recording: All lectures and seminars are recorded and will be available on Canvas for student use. Please note the Business School does not own the system and cannot guarantee that the system will operate or that every class will be recorded. Students should ensure they attend and participate in all classes.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. critically evaluate theories, concepts and arguments in marketing, psychology and economics and apply such theories and evaluations to related decisions
  • LO2. analyse the impact of psychological factors on decisions and then evaluate strategies or tools to counteract such influences
  • LO3. research and analyse decisions made by you and others in real world contexts, and use these insights to communicate how such decisions were impacted by unit theories and concepts
  • LO4. evaluate and use information effectively, demonstrating a capacity to integrate and synthesise relevant information in a coherent manner.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


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