The Science and Art of Decision Making

  • Summer schools
  • Department of Management
  • Application code SS-MG110
  • Starting 2022
  • Short course: Open
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

In this era of deep uncertainty, rapid change and big data, making the right strategic decisions is more vital than ever. Decision making is a central aspect of any business activity. The ability to understand how decisions are made, and to predict, guide and improve those decisions is a key part of every change maker’s toolbox. It is this ability that will be developed in this course, which introduces students to insights from behavioural science and decision sciences and their application in management and policy making.

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach, boosting both your decision intuition and analysis skills - preparing you to kick-start change, one decision at a time. You will begin with an exploration of systematic biases and errors, to raise your awareness about so-called ‘decision traps’ with a view to becoming a better intuitive decision maker.

By the end of the course, you will have enhanced your strategic and managerial skills enabling you to identify common decision traps’. You will become an agile, creative and strategic individual with the tools to make a valuable contribution to your chosen industry.

Session: Two
Dates: 11 July - 29 July 2022
Lecturers: Dr Barbara Fasolo and Dr Francesca Manzi


Programme details

Key facts

Level: 100 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: Class attendance, participation, assignments and two examinations

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional but may be required for credit by your home institution. Your home institution will be able to advise how you can meet their credit requirements.

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment


There are no prerequisites for this course. 

Key topics

  • Introduction to behavioural science and decision making

  • Preferences and values

  • Risk

  • Decision biases and heuristics

  • Choice architecture

  • People analytics

  • Behaviour change

  • Managerial decision making

Programme structure and assessment

The course is built on interactive lectures, hands-on exercises and experiments, as well as thought-provoking case studies from real organisations and public policy settings. You will also have the unique opportunity to bring your own decision dilemmas to the classroom, allowing you to consolidate strategies and tools to solve them.

Active participation in classroom activities is required to bring to life the principles being discussed during the lecture. In class, you will receive feedback on your understanding of the material that will be examined.

The course is assessed through two examinations: a mid-session examination (50%) and a final examination (50%). To prepare you for these exams, two 45 minutes formative assessment sessions, one before each exam, will take place. In these sessions, you will discuss a number of mock exam questions, enabling you to ask questions about the practicalities of sitting an exam at LSE.


Course outcomes

  • Understand the systematic cognitive biases and traps that operate on individuals and groups

  • Learn how to effectively develop winning solutions for the key traps in strategic decision making

  • Recognise when to put the decision making process in action and commit to the developed recommendation

  • Apply strategic decision making frameworks to real-world business case studies

Is this course right for you?

This course is ideal if you are intrigued by the fascinating field of decision making and are interested in rebooting your “decision-ware”. It is recommended if you wish to develop your critical-thinking skills, especially if you are targeting a role in consulting and business management.

This course is an introductory course. If you are already familiar with decision science concepts and theories, or if you already have a few years of professional expertise, the executive course Strategic Decision Making for Management taught on the LSE Executive Education programme may be more suitable.

Your department

LSE’s Department of Management unites four subject areas – Employment Relations and Organisational Behaviour, Information Systems and Innovation, Managerial Economics and Strategy, and Management Science. It thereby combines the study of business and management with LSE’s renowned social sciences perspective. LSE is ranked 2nd in the world for social sciences and management (2020 QS World University Rankings) and the Department of Management, along with the Departments of Accounting and Finance, was ranked as the UK leader for Business and Management Studies in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.

Our world-class record of multidisciplinary management research gives students a solid understanding of the global business environment. Whether learning the fundamentals of management or gaining advanced insights into specific aspects of strategy, negotiation, marketing or human resources, students will develop a competitive edge for their future career.

Your faculty

Dr Barbara Fasolo
Associate Professor of Behavioural Science, Department of Management
Top-10 Teachers in Department of Management at LSE

Reading materials

Kahneman D., Thinking, Fast and Slow, 2012, Penguin.

This text is recommended for background reading, and as a resource. Throughout the course chapters and articles will be assigned and distributed electronically.

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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