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The Role of Decision Science

The Role of Decision Science

Paul Brest

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How to make good decisions and avoid making poor ones.

How does one make good decisions? And what leads people to make poor decisions? Can patterns of poor decision making be avoided? This mainly prescriptive module focuses on how to make good decision and avoid poor ones. The materials draw from statistics and economics to introduce some basic techniques of “decision science.”

The module has been developed for use in a short stand-alone seminar or as an adjunct to a course or seminar that studies the policy implications of various natural science, social science, and health disciplines.

The module: 1) surveys the meanings of utility; 2) examines decision making in conditions where risk is not an issue; 3) examines decision making in conditions where risk is an issue because the likelihood of success is not assured; and 4) examines errors and biases that can affect the decision-making processes.