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Last updated:

April 8, 2022


6 months

This course includes:

6 months

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

6 months


This course will help you understand some of the processes involved in decision making. Attention to the psychology of decision making and the social context in which decisions are made can improve your understanding of others and yourself.


This course covers a few key topics that will help you to think in broad ways about how you and others take decisions; we shall also introduce you to some themes in social science which have direct relevance to managerial decision making. The approach of this course is descriptive: rather than prescribing how you should make decisions we look at frameworks that will help you to understand how decisions are actually made. We aim to help you to develop greater insight into both your own decision-making processes and those of others.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:
  • Have greater insight into decision-making processes
  • Use that insight to make more effective decisions
  • Possess a range of different perspectives on what counts as an ‘effective’ decision
  • Be better equipped to understand and influence the decision-making processes of other individuals and groups
  • Understand better how people perceive and decide about risk.

Course Curriculum

    • Introducing decision-making 00:05:00
    • Exercising judgement 00:20:00
    • Different approaches to decision making 00:20:00
    • Introduction 00:05:00
    • Utility theory 00:10:00
    • Introduction 00:10:00
    • Framing the problem 00:10:00
    • Deciding: problems of judgment 00:10:00
    • Introduction 00:05:00
    • Social institutions 00:10:00
    • The pursuit of legitimacy 00:10:00
    • Social pressures which affect our decision making 00:10:00
    • A way of dealing with social pressures: decoupling 00:10:00
    • Introduction 00:30:00
    • The psychology of risk 00:05:00
    • Prospect theory 00:25:00
    • The social construction of quantifiable risk 00:20:00
    • Introduction 00:15:00
    • Avoiding decision traps 00:05:00
    • Conclusion 00:05:00

About the instructor

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Open University UK