Not available in 2017/18
MG311      Half Unit
Behavioural Decision Science for Management and Policy

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Barbara Fasolo NAB 3.15


This course is available on the BSc in Management. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


An introductory quantitative course, such as MA107 or ST107 or equivalent.

It is an advantage to have taken an introductory social science course  in one of these fields: economics (e.g. EC101 or EC102), management, psychology or sociology.

Course content

This course develops your ability to make decisions or help others make better decisions, with the help of ‘system 1’ – the fast, intuitive and (before this course) automatic way our brain makes decisions, and evaluates others’ decisions. The aim is for you to become a better intuitive decision maker.

In lectures, taught with MSc students, we examine how behavioural decision science came about and review a number of descriptive theories of decision making. We also focus on empirical research on heuristics, biases, decision style and other phenomena which can unconsciously affect decisions. 

In seminars which are uniquely designed for undergraduates you answer to questions posed by the class teachers, and are guided to think about how behavioural insights apply to personal, managerial or policy decisions.

This is a course for undergraduates with a strong passion for behavioural science and a keen interest in the psychology of decision making and applications for management and policy. Lectures are taught at an advanced level, and experientially (e.g., in-class experiments). It is suitable for 3rd year undergraduates who are keen to learn alongside master’s students in their first term at LSE, from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The course is a natural complement, and preparation for, MG310, which aims at improving the other side of the decision-making brain – the slow and analytic ability to make strategic decisions via modelling and decision analytic techniques


18 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

A 500-word essay plan for one long essay (following the same structure as the summative essay) to be submitted AFTER  reading week.

Indicative reading

Ariely, D. (2008). Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. Harper Collins.

Bazerman, M. (2006) Judgment in Managerial Decision Making. New York: Wiley. 6th edition

Hastie, R., and Dawes, R.M.  (2001). Rational Choice in an Uncertain World. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks

Russo, J. E. & Schoemaker, P. J. H. (2002) Winning decisions: How to make the right decision the first time, Piatkus Publ. Limited,

Sunstein, C.R. Thaler, R.H.  (2008) Nudge  - New Haven, CT: Yale University Press

Yates, F. J. (2003). Decision Management: How to Assure Better Decisions in Your Company. Jossey-Bass


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the LT.

Assessment will be as follows:


An essay of 3,000 words to be submitted no later than the beginning of week 7 of LT (100%)

The essay will include two parts. In the first part (1,000 words), you will be asked to prepare a memorandum to the CEO of an organisation (be it public or private, an NGO, a business corporation or a third sector enterprise) giving a behavioural insight on some decision to make, or situation to improve, or goal to achieve. In the second part of the essay (2,000 words), you will justify the specific recommendations presented in the memorandum with reference to behavioural and decision science literature and theories. The first part of the essay will count for 50% of your mark while 50% will come from the second part.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2016/17: 37

Average class size 2016/17: 20

Capped 2016/17: Yes (45)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication