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Improving decisions in an (ir)rational world

Decision Making in Business and Society

Why do people make certain decisions? And can we influence those decisions? In the minor Decisions in business and society you learn how to influence human decision making and choice, based on recent insights from behavioural economics and psychology.

This minor was formerly known as Understanding and influencing decisions in business and society

In this minor we start by providing you with the basic knowledge of theories and concepts that is necessary to understand how decisions are made, and to give insight into how and when humans deviate from rational thinking, in systematic and often predictable ways.

Based on this knowledge and insight, you will learn to develop interventions to influence the behaviour of others (through nudging and social influence tactics) in order to achieve societal and business goals, such as increasing sustainable behaviour, a more healthy lifestyle or sales of the company. Through historical and every day examples of leadership you will learn to improve (your own) leadership skills and the related output of teams and organizations. Furthermore, you will learn to formulate more effective negotiation strategies. Finally, you will discuss the ethical aspects of such influence strategies.

Students from other faculties or universities are eligible and are encouraged to take part in the minor. The diversity of students from different educational programs, universities and countries is a valuable element in the discussion of human’s irrational behaviour.

Alexander Rauf - BSc Marketing and Communication Management

Alexander Rauf - BSc Marketing and Communication Management

The minor provides real-life applicable insights to why we humans behave the way we do. The broad combination of courses and the multi-disciplinary environment created by students from different fields enabled us to apply our understanding of the material to real-life situations. The minor was a refreshing change that gave a better understanding of my own and others behaviour in general, as well as specific tools I can apply in my studies.

Alexander Rauf

Studying at VU Amsterdam