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Séminaire: Jugement et prise de décision

  • Teacher(s):   U.Hoffrage  
  • English title: Seminar: Judgment and decision making
  • Course given in: French
  • ECTS Credits: 3 credits
  • Schedule: Spring Semester 2018-2019, 2.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programmes:
    Bachelor (BSc) in Economic Sciences

    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Management



Why did you decide to study management? And why in Lausanne? How did you pick your spouse, friends, or room-mates? While many of our choices result from careful deliberation, it is also evident that often our intuition plays an eminent role when making decisions. Not surprisingly, intuition is also a big topic in the field of management, both in practice and in research.

In this seminar, we want to contrast intuition and analysis. How DO people, including managers, make decisions and how SHOULD they make decisions? When can we rely on our gut feelings and when should we better analyse a situation at hand very carefully? Can we educate our intuitions? In this seminar we want to discuss, based on the scientific literature, answers to these and similar questions. Another goal is to help you to develop soft skills. This will be achieved by giving you plenty of opportunity to present, discuss, and moderate discussions, which will be accompanied by intense coaching and feedback.


The content of this seminar and of our discussions is largely determined by the chapters of Gerd Gigerenzer’s book “Gut Feelings” that we will read together during the semester. Its table of content provides the structure of the seminar, and is reflected in the titles of the sessions (see the moodle).


Gerd Gigerenzer (2011). Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious. Penguin Press. The book is available on or You are free to choose the language in which you want to read it (it is translated in 18 languages!). To give you some time to purchase the book, copies of the first chapters are available on the moodle. All other articles and book chapters that we will also discuss in this seminar are also available on the moodle.


First pre-requisite: interest in the topic and willingness to actively follow the class and to prepare each session.

Second pre-requisite: ability to understand both English AND French. You can talk, write and present in English or French– as you prefer. In previous years, about two-thirds of the students used French and one-third used English. You should therefore be able to understand both languages.

Attendance of the lecture “JUDGMENT AND DECISION MAKING” (U. Hoffrage, Wed 10-12) is NOT required. Content-wise, the seminar is related to the lecture and it is recommended that both classes are taken. But this is not a must and each class is designed such that you can follow it without attending the other one.


First attempt

Without exam (cf. terms)  

The grade is determined by multiple components and assignments. First, participation during class over the entire semester (15%). Second, reflections (45%): For a typical session, you will have to read one chapter of the book and provide an input for the discussion during class (about 150-200 words, to be uploaded on the moodle not later than Sunday 23:59 before class). This should NOT be a summary of the chapter, but your own point of view, or a debate on the author’s assertions, or a provocative statement, or related materials that you found elsewhere and that you considered to be useful for a discussion of the chapter content … whatever (each input will be graded and the average of the best 9 grades will be included in the final grade with a weight of 45%). In addition, there are two group assignments. Specifically, third, a presentation of a scientific article related to the chapter discussed in a given session, or an equivalent task (25%). Fourth, moderation of the discussion during class, based on your peers’ input (15%). Each of you has to take over one of these special tasks (i.e., the third and fourth component), but for two different sessions. Both the presentation of an article (third component) and the discussion moderation (fourth component) should be presented to Ulrich Hoffrage (prof) or Matthieu Legeret (teaching assistant) beforehand and you will receive feedback on your slides and on your presentation before you give it in front of the class.


Without exam (cf. terms)  

The grades for the first and the fourth component (see above) cannot be changed, but the other components can be replaced by new assignments.

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