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Decision Theory

Decision Theory courses give the college student a better understanding of the cognitive, emotional, social, and institutional concepts that help influence proper judgment and choice in decision making skills. The aids and models used in this course will offer the student fresh insight into decision making in many fields such as risk assessment in the fields of finance, law, health care, economics, manufacturing, and many other places of employment. The importance of making correct decisions is highly stressed and emphasized in this class.

Decision Theory classes help the student learn how to make sound decisions during a crisis situation. Game Theory, an important sector of this course, gives the student the opportunity to role play and show real life situations where decisions can be assessed and improved upon, by both the instructor and other students in the class.

By the end of the semester students will be more knowledgeable in their understanding of why people, both as individuals, and in group situations in organizations behave the way they do. It shows the student how individuals choose their plan of action when confronted with life’s choices, particularly where risk taking is involved. Those faced with high risk situations such as fire fighters, police officers, and prison guards would benefit highly from taking Decision Theory. Learning the psychological theories related to topics discussed provide the student who plans to work with mentally disturbed patients insight into why his or her patient behaves the way they do. Anyone is the health care field should know how to respond in crisis situations.

Prerequisites are Statistics, and Security and Risk Analysis. The student must have taken basic high school math and algebra classes in order to take Decision Theory. He or she must come to class prepared to take Decision Theory notes in order to prepare for quizzes and tests while in this class. The student will be involved in role playing and will perfect their skills on how to make sound judgment during the decision making process.

Security and Risk Analysis teaches the student about serious high risk situations and also threats to security related to terrorism and crime. Military personnel make decisions daily when involved in high risk situations.

There are two textbooks that are often used in this class. An Introduction to Decision Theory by Martin Petersen, published in 2009, describes the history of Decision Theory. He also covers decision making by the individual thoroughly in his book.

Decision Theory is comprised of three sectors; they include individual decision making, game theory, and social choice theory. Choice: An Introduction to Decision Theory is a textbook by author, Michael Resnik. This textbook describes all three of the above sectors in Decision Theory.

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