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Decision Making: Theory and Practice


Admission requirements

Master students Psychology


Will it rain tomorrow? Shall I buy a travel insurance? Is this person guilty? And should I worry about this medical test outcome? We all face a perplexing array of judgements and decisions every day. In this course, we review the main theories in judgement and decision making, and we consider applications in both every day and professional decision problems.

Course objectives

Students acquire specialised knowledge about psychological theories of judgement and decision making, and reflect on possibilities and limitations of applying this knowledge in various practical domains.


Decision Making: Theory and practice (2011-2012):

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures (including guest lectures from professional decision making experts)

  • Work group sessions (compulsory)

Assessment method

  • Exam; multiple choice and essay questions about the book

  • Report of results of an experiment carried out in research group (group work)

  • Presentation

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

  • Newell, B.R., Lagnado, D.A., and Shanks, D.R. (2007). Straight Choices. The psychology of decision making. Psychology Press.

  • Further reading to be selected in research groups


Introduction and enrolment for courses of the first semester will take place on 1 September 2010. Introduction and enrolment for courses of the second semester will take place on 2 February 2011. More information will be available at the website of the Institute of Psychology.

NB: Exam registration will take place via uSis, and will be open between a month and a week before the (re)exam. Students who haven’t registered, cannot participate in the exam.

Contact information

Dr. F. Poletiek
Room 2-B24
Tel.: 071-5273641