PHILOSOPHY 145, Paul Thagard, Winter, 2003

I. The Portfolio, Part II. 2003

A. The second part of the portfolio is due at the beginning of class March 27. Expected length is around 4 pages (typed). It should include examples of decision making exhibiting eleven different error tendencies. One point will be awarded for each accurate example.

B. Each entry in your portfolio should have roughly the following structure:

1. Description of a real life decision, taken from newspapers, magazines, TV, discussion with friends, or whatever. You can use numerous examples unrelated to each other, or discuss a number of related examples from the same domain.

2. Analysis of the example in terms of the error tendencies discussed in class and the textbooks. Your analysis should show how the key concepts apply to the example and provide some insight into the kind of reasoning error that you have noticed. The error tendencies should be taken from the Web notes. These include all the decision traps listed in Russo, pp. xvi-xvii, plus others.

C. Late penalty: 10% immediately, and 10% per additional week. Penalty for plagiarism (using the work of others): course grade of F.

II. Exam 3. 2003

The exam will be April 3 in class. It will have 3 kinds of questions similar to those on earlier exams. The error tendencies will all concern decision making. Many of the short answer questions will be based on the review questions below. The essay will require you to discuss critically a real-life case of decision making.

The exam will cover material from:

Here are some review questions, as of Feb. 24, 2007.

Review questions for Russo:

Ch. 1

1. What are the four key elements in decision making?

2. What is a metadecision?

Ch. 2

1. What does it mean to frame a decision? Why is it important?

2. How do metaphors and analogies affect the frame of a decision?

Ch. 3

1. What is reframing? Why is it important?

2. How can you challenge your current frame?

Ch. 4

1. Why is what you believe crucial to making good decisions?

2. How can anchoring lead to poor decisions?

Ch. 5

1. Why is gathering intelligence well important for good decisions?

Ch. 6

1. What are the limits to intuition in decision making?

2. Are rules of thumb useful for decision making?

3. What is the difference between objective and subjective linear models?

4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using subjective linear models in decision making?

Ch. 7

1. Why do groups often fail to make good decisions?

2. How can group decisions be more effectively managed?

3. Should social decision making take into account the welfare of others?

(See Web notes for Week 11.)

4. What is adversarial problem solving? (See Web notes for Week 11.)

Ch. 8

1. Why do people often fail to learn from their past decision failures?

2. How is rationalization related to motivated inference?

Ch. 9

1. How can people get better feedback that improves decision making?

Ch. 10

1. What is a personal decision audit?

2. How can personal decision audits lead to better decision making?

Review questions for guest lectures:

1. According to Mary Bales, what practices contribute to successful negotiations?

2. According to Michael Webster, what makes people susceptible to fraud?


Updated March 17, 2003

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