People have always been fascinated by how the mind works. Thousands of times each day, we are presented with choices that require decisions: from what to wear each day to where to live. Over millennia philosophers, theologians, and mathematicians have all weighed in on how we make decisions, and in recent centuries economists, psychologists, and sociologists have joined this investigation. Some of these past theories are essentially aspirational, describing decision making as it should be, not as it often is.
This course provides a different view. In How You Decide: The Science of Human Decision Making, Professor Ryan Hamilton, associate professor of marketing at Emory University's Goizueta Business School, uses research revealed via the scientific method to understand and explain human decision making. While his easygoing manner and anecdotes about surprising and bizarre choices will keep you enthralled, Professor Hamilton also shares what decision science has revealed through empirically tested theories that make falsifiable predictions and lead to testable hypotheses. Based on the outcomes of his own published experiments and those of his colleagues, Dr. Hamilton presents information that allows you to better understand the choices you face every day, the tools you can use to make the best decisions for your personal goals, and how to most effectively influence the decisions of others.
Throughout this course, you'll examine complex and seemingly simple decisions and see the factors that play into both. You'll understand the pitfalls of routines that have become such a part of life that they obscure the decision making process and learn how the memory of a song or joke heard years ago can have an effect on a decision being made today.
Dr. Hamilton emphasizes the complex nature of human beings and the many environmental, physical, and emotional aspects of life that can impact any specific decision at any given moment.