Psychology of Thinking and Decision Making (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Margherita Pasini
Margherita Pasini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
2° periodo di lezioni - GEM (febbraio/aprile) dal Feb 10, 2021 al Apr 1, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to describe psychological knowledge on judgment and decision-making processes, looking at the analysis of cognitive, affective and neural processes underlying judgement and decision making. This knowledge is useful in the field of emergency management, in order to gain interpretative tools to better understand decision-making procedure.
- Knowledge and understanding: Students will gain a general overview of the basic concepts of Psychology as a scientific discipline and of psychological research methods. Furthermore will gain specific knowledge concerning psychological processes in decision-making, and data collection, data analysis and interpretation techniques.
- Applying knowledge and understanding: Students will be able to use the acquired knowledge to better interpret what happens during the decision-making process, mainly under emergency conditions. They will also develop knowledge and skills relevant to the evaluation of emergency contexts from a psychosocial point of view.
- Concerning Making Judgements, students will be able to develop the ability to autonomously devel-op comprehensive reflections concerning decision-making process, from a psychological point of view. Students will also be able to clearly communicate research results in psychology of decision-making. This communication skill will contribute to increase their ability in communicate results from observed data. Finally, students will develop their lifelong learning skills on the subjects addressed during the course.


The course aims to expand awareness on the following specific issues: 1. Judgement and decision making; 2. Heuristics and systematic biases in making judgements; 3. Risk and decision making; 4. Representation and decision making; 5. Memory, attention, and decision making; 6. Dynamic decision making; 7. Emotions and decision making; 8. Brain and decision making; 9. Negotiation and decision making; 10. Group decision making.
In addition, key concepts concerning psychological research methods will be provided, suseful to understand the empirical research processes involved in the knowledge acquisition in this field. Moreover, concepts and competencies useful for the data analysis and interpretation in psychology will be provided.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
VITTORIO GIROTTO, MARCO ZORZI Manuale di psicologia generale Il Mulino 2016
John J. Shaughnessy, Eugene B. Zechmeister, Jeanne S. Zechmeister Metodologia della ricerca in psicologia McGraw-Hill 2016 8838615454
Bonini N., Del Missier F., Rumiati R. Psicologia del giudizio e della decisione (Edizione 1) il Mulino 2008 9788815126009

Assessment methods and criteria

The final assessment will be a short paper, discussed with the teacher, or an oral presentation to the class, discussed with the teacher, on a theme related to the course.

Alternatively, and oral examination is possible, on the covered topics.