Psychology and Brain Sciences | Topics in Psychology: Decision-making and the Brain
P357 | 15068 | Brown, J.


This course will explore how individuals make decisions, and what
different parts of the brain contribute to decision-making.  The
first part of the course focuses on the psychology of decision
making.  Often decisions are irrational (non-normative) by some
definition.  As students learn how people make decisions, the
knowledge can be applied to influence decision-makers toward
particular choices.  The second part of the course begins with a
brief overview of cognitive neuroscience methods, and then it
focuses on a number of exciting recent advances in the cognitive
neuroscience of decision-making, including the new field of
neuroeconomics.  The course will explore how individuals decide what
they perceive, decide what they want, and decide what to do.  We
will explore how brain activity leads to non-normative decisions,
and how emotional and social factors influence decision-making
processes in the brain.  We will also briefly explore some relevant
ethical and philosophical issues, such as whether or not individuals
with specific kinds of brain damage should be held responsible for
poor decisions or criminal behavior.   Students will be assigned
readings from the required texts as well as selected readings from
primary source research articles.