Write about a meaningful decision that you make during the quarter.
Individual, or in groups up to 5 people (across sections is fine). One paper per group. 1250-1750 words (due in week 9). Print word count on it. 10% penalty if over 1750
(1) Overview: Briefly describe the decision you made and what you were hoping to achieve.
(2) Ideal plan: Discuss how you planned to make the decision based on some
model of how you “should” make the decision, whether Moral Algebra/Weighted Additive Rule, EU theory, or some other optimal model. For example, what your
frame/question was, how you found or created options, what information you
considered, what uncertainties/probabilities were at play, etc.).
(3) Anticipating error: Discuss the psychological principles or errors that could play a role in or interfere with the process, and steps you took to account for the
(4) What happened: If your decision-making diverged from your planning/anticipation, explain how so and what you might have overlooked during those stages. If it followed the plan perfectly, explain what you think was key in your planning/anticipating that made it so easy to follow. And describe the outcome of the decision.
(5) Reflections: What are your key takeaways from this process that will shape how
you make other decisions in the future? Connect to specific future decisions.
Connect to/discuss specific class concepts throughout, especially for (2) through (5).
(5) kind of naturally follows from (4)—they’re both looking back on what worked, what didn’t, and what you’d do differently (or the same) going forward.
Final paper: possible topics Where to live What car to buy Where to travel (or if to ever travel again) Whether to get a PhD (don’t do it) How to contact aliens (must have a PhD to make this your topic) How to divide up chores in the household How to entertain your kids What classes to take Household financial decisions (how much to save, how much insurance, etc.) What job to take (or leave) Whom to hire…or fire Any workplace decision What tattoo to get (to commemorate this class)