Pitfalls and Best Practices in Decision-Making

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON, TUE 5:30 - 8:30 pm SRH 3.124


Class meets Tuesday, January 21 and then Mondays: January 27, February 3, 10, and 17 for five total class meetings.

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 decisionmaking; 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 leaders, bureaucracies, and 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 one case study that will be analyzed using multiple theoretical lenses over the duration of the seminar). However, the theories, pitfalls, and best practices studied throughout the course also apply to business, public policy, and leadership decisions more broadly.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

Thinking, Fast & Slow *
Kahneman, Daniel
VHPS , edition: 2013
ISBN: 9780374533557
Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis *
Allison, Graham T., Zelikow, Philip
Longman Publishing Group , edition: 2nd
ISBN: 9780321013491


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