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Courses

Below are courses in the Columbia community that are related to judgment and decision making. Contact the center to suggest a course or make recommendations.

Please note that enrollment policies vary by course. PhD courses at Columbia Business School are generally open for credit, though not auditing. Check with specific instructors to make arrangement. MBA courses at the School also have varying policies; check with the instructor.

Course

Department

Description

Multidisciplinary Approaches to
Human Decision Making

(G9180)
(W4285)
(B9611)
Psychology & Graduate School of Business
(Graduate & Undergraduate)
“This course is the weekly Center for the Decision Sciences seminar, featuring Columbia and guest speakers on a range of decision-related topics. Meetings are open to the Columbia community; graduate students can take the course for credit.”
Experimental Psychology: Thinking & Decision Making
(W1490)
Psychology (Undergraduate)“This course introduces research methods employed in the study of the cognitive and social determinants of thinking and decision making. Students gain experience in the conduct of research, including design of simple experiments, individual and group preference elicitation techniques, and the analysis of behavioral data.”
Thinking & Decision Making
(W2235)
Psychology (Undergraduate)“Detailed coverage of selected topics in problem solving and choice. Theories and experiments concerning comprehension of problems and action alternatives, integration of information, insight, and use of analogies and examples. Optimality and expertise in problem solving and decision making.”
Advanced Seminar in Organizational Behavior and Theory: Social Decision Processes: Implications for Organizations and the Design of Effective Decision Making Institutions
(B9710)
Graduate School of Business
(Ph.D.)
(Elke Weber)
“While many important decisions are made by individuals acting for themselves or for households and other groups, many other choices depend on social and group processes. Even decisions made by individuals are often driven by social motives, such as fairness or in-group welfare. Social goals and processes play a role in decisions in the private sphere, in business organizations, and the public sector. While the groups or collective in these different settings and contexts differ in important ways, they also share characteristics: the involvement of multiple decision makers with a multiplicity of (often conflicting) individual interests and goals, and the emergence of shared group goals that are created or activated by the group setting and group decision process.”
Advanced seminar in organizational strategy and decision making
(B9711)
Graduate School of Business
(PhD)
(J. Song)
“Focus is on the research and theory literature related to questions of organizational strategy and policy as well as issues of strategic decision making within organizations. Topics are chosen by the instructor and announced prior to registration.”
Behavioral finance
(FINC 7399/8399)
Graduate School of Business
(MBA)
(G. Huberman)
“Finance — corporate and capital markets — is based on the premise of optimal, rational behavior on part of market participants. Research on decision making has documented systematic deviations from optimality, even when strong incentives to optimize are present. The course will cover both the psychological insights and their applications to finance.”
Bridging Behavioral Decision Research and Marketing Science
(B9610-23)
Graduate School of Business
(Ph.D.)
(R. Kivetz)
The purpose of this seminar is to provide Ph.D.-level coverage of various topics in decision research, and to encourage cross-fertilization between this discipline and marketing science.The underlying philosophy is that the gains of interdisciplinary and multi-method research far outweigh the pain and inconveniences associated with leaving one’s ‘comfort zone.’ We will discuss how substantive marketing issues could benefit from an interdisciplinary marriage of methods.We will also read and analyze various articles that bridge consumer behavior research with marketing science.
Consumer behavior
(B8601)
Graduate School of Business
(PhD)
(M. Holbrook)
“This course addresses issues related to consumer behavior from a number of different viewpoints. In general, it gives a well-rounded view of consumers in the contemporary culture of consumption. In particular, the course covers all aspects of consumption (acquiring, using, disposing) of numerous kinds of products (goods, services, events, ideas) from the perspectives of different focuses (decisions, experiences) at contrasting conceptual levels of analysis (micro, macro) as studied by different methods (neopositivistic, interpretive) for various purposes or aims (managerial relevance, knowledge for its own sake).”
Customers and Markets: Behavioral decision making and economics
(B8699)
Graduate School of Business
(MBA)
(Eric Johnson)
“The purpose of this course is to inform future managers and consultants of customers’ decision rules and their associated biases and to enable these future managers and consultants to incorporate such insights in their business and marketing strategies. The seminar has two facets. First, it gives students a broad overview of important results from various behavioral sciences that clarify how customers really make decisions. Second, it investigates how these results can be leveraged to design original and more effective marketing and business strategies.”
Decision models
(B6015)
Graduate School of Business
(Core MBA curriculum)
“This half-term (six-week) 1.5-credit course offers a brief introduction to computer-based models and their use in structuring information and supporting managerial decisions. It conveys an appreciation for the extraordinary scale and complexity of the information needed to manage effectively and demonstrates how decision models can serve to organize this information and provide tools for analyzing and improving the decision process. Specific topics include linear programming, multiperiod planning models under uncertainty, nonlinear programs and Monte Carlo simulation.”
Decision models II
(B8834)
Graduate School of Business
(MBA)
(M. Rosenwein)
“This course is about the solution of management problems using mathematical modeling. Emphasis is placed on the application of the models through the use of case studies. Topics include advanced optimization models, integer programming, heuristics, Markov processes, queueing models, dynamic programming simulation and forecasting. Applications are selected from production management, inventory control, finance, corporate strategic planning, facility layout and design and other management areas.”
Finance Theory
(FINC 9303)
Graduate School of Business
(Ph.D.)
(G. Huberman)
“The course is intended for doctoral students who are seriously thinking about writing a dissertation in finance. The course will focus on the behavioral approach to financial economics. The course is very demanding. Each student will have to give at least one class presentation, write a research proposal and a final exam. The reading list is long. All students in the course must have taken Finance Theory I, or at least take it concurrently.”
Managerial decision making
(B8712)
Graduate School of Business
(MBA)
(J. Brockner)
“A great deal of managers' work lives is spent making decisions; this course focuses on the individual and collective factors that affect decision making. Emphasis is placed on assessing the individual and group processes that serve as barriers to effective decision making and helping managers overcome these barriers so they can make better decisions. The course examines not only how managers make decisions but also how they should make decisions.”
Managerial Negotiation
(B7462)
Graduate School of Business
(MBA)
(E. Weber)
“In managing human resources in an organization, many outcomes and decisions are determined by the process of negotiation. This course involves students in actual negotiating experiences to enhance their skills as negotiators. Concepts developed in the behavioral sciences, economics and game theory are used as guides to improve negotiating. Each fall and spring, one section of the course places emphasis on game-theoretical foundations of the negotiating process.”
Negotiations and decision making
(B8833)
Graduate School of Business
(MBA)
“This course is about the art and science of creating agreements between two or more parties. Students discuss and apply concepts developed in behavioral science and game theory as guides to improved negotiating. Students develop and sharpen negotiating skills by negotiating with other students in real world cases. This course offers a refreshing perspective on both competition and cooperation. Students wishing to enroll in the course should register for Human Resource Management B8412-03 Managerial Negotiations in the fall. This section is different from the other sections of B8412 in that the instructor places greater emphasis on game-theoretical foundations of the negotiation process.”
Decision Analysis
(W4419)
Statistics
(Undergraduate)
“In the first half of the course, we will develop a familiarity with expected-utility decision analysis: we will start with problem-solving within this framework, move to its theoretical foundations, and then consider objections to the theory. In the second half, we will consider application in fields such as public health, medicine, political science, psychology, economics, and operations research. We will conclude by evaluating the successes, failures, and future prospects of decision theory in practice. The key to the course is the interplay between problem-solving, foundations, and applications: no two of these three is enough to get the full picture.”
Probability
(W4105)
Statistics
(Advanced Undergraduate / Masters)
“Fundamentals, random variables, and distribution functions in one or more dimensions; moments, conditional probabilities, and densities; Laplace transformations and characteristic functions. Infinites sequences of random variables; weak and strong laws of large numbers; the central limit theorem.”
Statistical Inference
(W4107)
Statistics
(Advanced Undergraduate / Masters)
“Principles of statistical inference. Population parameters, sufficient statistics. Basic distribution theory. Point and interval estimation. Method of maximum likelihood. Method of least squares regression. Introduction to the theory of hypothesis testing. Likelihood ratio tests. Nonparametric procedures. Statistical design theory. Applications to engineering, medicine, natural and social sciences.”
Quantitative Techniques for Policy Making and Administration
(U6310, U6311)
(Two semester sequence)
School of International and Public Affairs“This course is designed to familiarize you with specific quantitative techniques used in decision-making today. You will learn how to formulate and design policy questions, to utilize specific quantitative methods appropriate for such problems, and to qualitatively present statistical analysis in support of effective policy and administrative decisions. ... The first semester will concentrate on the formulation of policy questions, the collection and organization of data, and the analysis and presentation of facts ...The second semester will concentrate more heavily upon multiple regression, time series and factor analyses and the organization and presentation of more advanced statistical data.”
Managing Risk in Natural and other Disasters
(U6760)
International Affairs
(Graduate)
“Natural and technological disasters occur when natural and technological processes inflict harm on a vulnerable society during extreme events. Natural disasters include draughts, floods, storms, landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other natural processes. They are normal, albeit extreme events of the Earth’s dynamics. Technological disasters are caused by "normal" failures of technical systems. The natural and man-made events become disasters only when they affect exposed vulnerable societies.”
Clinical Decision Support
(G4051)
Medical
Informatics
(Graduate)
“An overview of the various techniques used in providing computerized clinical decision support, both from the perspective of the underlying theory and the applications designed using the theory.”
Cognitive Science and Medical Informatics: Theoretical and Methodological Issues at the Interface
(G4210)
Medical
Informatics
(Graduate)
Cognitive science is a multidisciplinary field incorporating theories and methods from psychology, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, and computer science in the study of cognition. Cognitive science provides a framework for the analysis and modeling of complex human performance and has considerable applicability to address a range of issues in informatics. Developments in medical informatics research have afforded possibilities for great advances in healthcare delivery ... The focus in this course is on conceptual and methodological issues in cognitive science and medical informatics.”
Quantitative Models for Medical Decision Making
(G4050)
Medical
Informatics
(Graduate)
“A survey of a number of techniques for quantitative reasoning, including probabilistic reasoning, decision analysis, ROC analysis, and meta-analysis.”
Probability and Induction
(G4561)
Philosophy
(Graduate)
“An examination of interpretations and applications of the calculus of probability including applications as a measure of degree of belief, degree of confirmation, relative frequency, a theoretical property of systems (dispositions, propensities, tendencies) and other notions of objective probability or chance. The relevance of such notions and alternative conceptions or uncertainty (potential surprise. Baconian probability, ordinal condition functions) to accounts of inductive or, more generally, ampliative reasoning in statistical argument and theory choice. Some attention will be paid to epistemological questions such as Hume’s problem of induction, Goodman’s problem or projectibility and the paradox of confirmation.”
Rational Choice
(G4565)
Philosophy
(Undergraduate and Graduate)
“This course will examine the criteria for rational choice. The emphasis will be on single-agent decision making. Through a variety of readings this course will introduce, and consider objections to, well-known decision rules such as maximization of expected utility, maximin, and pessimism-optimism.”
Symbolic Logic
(V3411)
Philosophy
(Undergraduate and Graduate)
“Advanced introduction to classical sentential and predicate logic. No previous acquaintance with logic is required; nonetheless a willingness to master technicalities and to work at a certain level of abstraction is desirable”
Game Theory and Political Theory
(W4209)
Political Science
(Undergraduate and Graduate)
“Application of noncooperative game theory to strategic situations in politics. Solution concepts, asymmetric information, incomplete information, signaling, repeated games, folk theorems. Models drawn from elections, legislative strategy, interest group politics, regulation, nuclear deterrence, international relations, tariff policy.”
Research Topics in Game Theory
(G4210)
Political Science
(Undergraduate and Graduate)
“Advanced topics in game theory, including repeated games, games of incomplete information, signaling models, and principal-agent models. The first half of the course will be in lecture format, with the second half devoted to letting students develop a topic relating political science and game theory and writing a research paper.”

 

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