Pitfalls and Best Practices in Decision-Making

Read the course description below to learn how this course will be taught.

Class Unique: 29065

This is an LBJ School course, cross-listed with the Law School. This course will be taught online. Course meets January 20-February 24. Contact LBJ if you have questions about how the course will be taught. Previously taught under the course number 179M.

This one-credit, five-day graduate seminar examines decision-making from both a theoretical perspective and from its execution in practice.  The course introduces students to various models of decision-making; explores cognitive biases in decision-making; and examines how decision-makers often use — and misuse — historical analogies and lessons from history.  The course also focuses on the concept of risk and decision-making under conditions of risk and uncertainty, as well as the effect of groups on decisions.  Drawn, in part, from the professor’s nearly six years on the National Security Council (NSC) staff, the seminar will incorporate select examples from U.S. national security, including decisions related to pandemics and terrorism.  The theories, pitfalls, and best practices studied throughout the course also apply to business, public policy, and leadership decisions more broadly.

Seminar Dates. All sessions will be held online.                                                                       

  • Session #1: Wednesday, 20 January, 5:30-8:30pm CT
  • Session #2: Wednesday, 27 January, 5:30-8:30pm CT
  • Session #3: Wednesday, 3 February, 5:30-8:30pm CT
  • Session #4: Wednesday, 10 February, 5:30-8:30pm CT
  • Break:  NO CLASS on 17 February
  • Session #5: Wednesday, 24 February 5:30-8:30pm CT  

Class Details

Short course

Meeting Days Time Location
Wednesday 5:30 - 8:30 pm ONLINE

Examination information not available

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Allowed
Will not use floating mean GPA


  • Essence of Decision : Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis - Allison, Graham T. and Zelikow, Philip
      Longman Publishing Group , edition: 2
      ISBN: 978-0-321-01349-1   (required)
  • Thinking, Fast & Slow - Kahneman, Daniel
      ISBN: 978-0-374-53355-7   (required)