Decision making science in theory and practice

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
13 November 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

In this module, you will learn about decision-making theories and gain the skills to understand, predict and improve people's decisions for real-world issues, e.g., how can we help doctors better diagnose patients?; how do we motivate people to exercise more often?; how can we encourage people to be more prosocial?

Can psychology help make better decisions? Yes! From curbing climate change to selecting the best candidate for the job, decision-making science has many important insights to offer, which is why it is becoming increasingly popular in education, politics, business, economics and health.Governments, businesses and charities all understand the value of identifying decision pitfalls (e.g., social and cognitive biases) and using strategies to overcome these.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To develop an understanding of the psychological processes underpinning human decision-making.

  • To develop a strong command of the theories and empirical findings in decision making science and how these can be used to tackle some major social challenges, such as climate change or antimicrobial resistance.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Be familiar with key theories and models of decision-making science and how these can be used to address current societal challenges.

  2. Develop a critical understanding of current research in judgement and decision-making science (e.g., biases, heuristics).

  3. Design and apply basic behavioural interventions for a range of context (environmental, medical, and social).

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week.

The lectures will consist of an introduction to each topic of the module and a review of research on the topic. Students will learn based on a diverse set of materials such as slides, videos, quizzes, team work activities, in class presentation.


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non - essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Mini Thought Pieces    20% 
Coursework   Research Briefing    80% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Marie Juanchich, email:
Dr Marie Juanchich, Dr Miroslav Sirota, Dr Jonathan Rolison, Dr Alasdair Clarke



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 10 hours, 10 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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