ECON42630 Decision Theory

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module covers normative and descriptive theories of decision-making in multiple settings: under certainty, under uncertainty, under risk, over time, in strategic settings and in groups. Focus will be on the theoretical framework, namely utility theory, probability theory, game theory and social choice theory, which will be contrasted with approaches from behavioral economics. The content also includes philosophical discussions of decision-making such as the philosophy of probability, distributive justice and moral philosophy.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students will be able to:
- analyse decisions made in various settings using normative and descriptive theories of decision-making
- compare and contrast the predictions made using the different theories
- critically evaluate the evidence for and against the different theories

Indicative Module Content:

- Decision under certainty
- Decision under uncertainty
- Probability judgment
- Decision under risk
- Decision over time
- Decision in strategic settings
- Decision in groups

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module will be delivered through lectures and in-class discussion of problem sets. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Mid-term exam covering the first four topics. Week 7 No Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Oral Examination: Students review, evaluate, and apply a particular descriptive theory of decision-making. Week 12 n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: Final exam covering the last three topics. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

After completion of assessment, students will be provided with individual grades.

An Introduction to Decision Theory by Martin Peterson (2013)
A Course in Behavioral Economics by Erik Angner (2016)
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 14:00 - 15:50