The module provides an interdisciplinary study of the analytic and cognitive-behavioural perspectives to decision-making under conditions of uncertainty and strategic interdependence. The emphasis of the module is on the aspects of decision-making relevant for lawyers.
In the introductory part of the module, the students receive training in decision analysis and applied game theory, formal analytical frameworks for decisions under uncertainty. This set of normative tools is commonly used by major corporations in capital investments and increasingly employed by law firms in litigation, arbitration, negotiation, mediation and deal-making.
The remainder of the module focuses on psychology of poor decisions resulting from intuitive, biased, often unconscious heuristics-driven decision-making processes. The topics include Nobel Prize winning research by Kahneman and Tversky, theories of associative, algorithmic and reflective thinking, bounded rationality and judgmental heuristics, anchoring, judgmental overconfidence, framing, and instances of bounded awareness in auctions and strategic settings (the winner’s curse). The aim is to examine the descriptive theory of such failures of decision-making and to train students to make better decisions.
The module will involve students in an intensive and thorough survey of the intersection of analytic and cognitive-behavioural perspectives to decision making. The classes are interactive and tailored to facilitate experiential learning though case studies and cognitive exercises.