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Social Judgment and Decision Making


Entry requirements

Only open to MSc Psychology (research) students


A large part, if not all, of people’s judgments, decisions and actions occur in a social context, meaning that they are shaped by the actual or imagined presence of others. In this course students will familiarise themselves with some of the core topics of the study of social judgment and decision-making. We will address questions such as: Why are we influenced by others? When do (social) emotions impact our decision-making process? And how do people respond to inequality? We will discuss the reading material in light of daily issues and will actively seek for real-life implications of the theory covered during the course. Also, we will explore how combining different methods can be helpful when answering complex research questions.

Course objectives

During the course, students:
1. Gain specialised knowledge of the key concepts, approaches, theories and methods that comprise contemporary research in social judgment and decision making;
2. Learn to analyse phenomena in light of relevant theoretical concepts;
3. Learn to generate new research ideas on the basis of their knowledge of key concepts, theories, and research methods;
4. Learn to communicate theoretical insights and ideas in valid ways to others, both in speaking and writing.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course.

Exams (if applicable)

You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap. Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

7 2-hour work group sessions (attendance of all sessions is mandatory)
No weblectures available.

Assessment method

The final grade is based on:

  • Organisation of an interactive thematic seminar (10%)

  • Four short analyses (20%)

  • One research proposal (70%)

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

Selection of scientific articles; examples:

  • Huang K. et al., (2022) Veil-of-ignorance reasoning favors the greater good. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 116(48)

  • Roozenbeek et al., (2022). Psychological inoculation improves resilience against misinformation on social media, Science Advances. 8, eabo6254.

  • Stallen, M. et al., (2018). Neurobiological mechanisms of responding to injustice. The Journal of Neuroscience, 38(12), 2944–2954.

Contact information

Mirre Stallen