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Unit of study_

OLET1644: How We Make Decisions

2024 unit information

We like to believe that decision making involves simply weighing up the pros and cons of the different options before selecting the best one, so when people fail to do this (as they often do) they are viewed as irrational. However this viewpoint has been shown to be inaccurate even for important decisions. This unit will provide an introduction to how short-cuts, biases and emotion are integral to human decision making. These factors are often systematic, so we are expectedly irrational. You will first learn to recognise the common heuristics (short-cuts) and biases that have been identified by evaluating existing research and through demonstrations. From this foundation you will explore decision making more deeply and develop an understanding of the broader frameworks for comprehending it. You will then focus on the implication this has for improving your own decision making and how we can better present information and options to improve other people's decision making. From a public policy point of view these insights can be used to help nudge people towards beneficial choices, though advertisers also capitalise on these biases to influence human behaviour.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:

Psychology Academic Operations

Code OLET1644
Academic unit Psychology Academic Operations
Credit points 2
Prerequisites:
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None
Corequisites:
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None
Prohibitions:
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None
Assumed knowledge:
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None

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

  • LO1. reflect upon your own decision making.
  • LO2. describe and identify the major heuristics and biases that affect people's decision making
  • LO3. understand the implications these heuristics and biases have for how to present information to people making decisions
  • LO4. describe and explain the frameworks researchers have used to try to understand these heuristics and biases.
  • LO5. apply critical thinking to understanding how to improve the decision making of ourselves and others
  • LO6. be able to communicate competently about decision making and the implications of the evidence regarding heuristic and biases.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Intensive September 2024
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Intensive September 2020
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive September 2021
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive September 2021
Block mode Remote
Intensive September 2022
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive September 2022
Block mode Remote
Intensive September 2023
Block mode Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Intensive September 2023
Online Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.