PSY 305 OA - Judgement and Decision Making - Syllabus

Lackawanna College

PSY 305 OA - Judgement and Decision Making - Syllabus

3 Credits



Joseph A Cice, Ph.D.




Healey 240


Office Hours


Monday & Wednesday

1:00pm-2:30pm or by appointment






Text and other materials will be provided on the Portal by the professor.




This course explores the fundamental principles of human judgement and decision-making. Students will learn about theoretical models of optimal decision-making and evaluate how closely these models align with how people make decisions in real-life situations. Discussions and activities will center on identifying ways of improving human judgement and decision-making through the application of research-based principles. Core topics will include (among others): rationality and emotion, the gambler’s fallacy, mental accounting, value and utility, Multi-Attribute Utility Analysis (MAUT), biases in moral thinking, utilitarianism, assessments of risk, and mental self-control. (3 credits) Prerequisite: PHL105




1. Read and analyze contemporary research in the field of Psychology pertaining to human judgment and decision-making.


2. Understand the role of culture, context, and individual circumstance in the decision-making process.


3. Become familiar with and articulate the theories of various seminal researchers in the field of judgment and decision-making.


4. Debate and defend theories of decision-making via in-class oral discussions.


5. Articulate the importance of judgment and decision-making (and the various ways in which it manifests) in contemporary society.


6. Identify flaws in real-world examples of decision-making, and propose potential research-based solutions.


7. Develop and formally present a working personal decision-making philosophy based on the views of various theorist.




Participation in Online Discussions (including “Let’s Get to know one another”)


  • Each week students will be required to participate in online discussions. Initial POSTS will be due by either Wednesday or Thursday each week and must be a minimum of 300 words. These initial posts should be well researched and use APA format to connect the text as well as outside resources.
  • Students are also required to REPLY to at least three (3) students each week by Sunday. These REPLIES should be at least 100 words and should include constructive criticism, clarification, additional questions, or your own relevant thoughts.


Academic Honesty Pledge


  • During the first week each student will be required to post an Academic Honesty Pledge in Discussion Week 1.


Course Navigation Quiz


  • During the first week each student will be required to complete a course navigation quiz which will evaluate the students understanding of the portal.


Syllabus Quiz


  • During the first week each student will be required to complete a syllabus quiz which will evaluate the students understanding of the syllabus.

6 Weekly Writing Assignments and/or Quizzes


  • During the semester each student will be required to complete either a writing assignment (300-500 words) or Quiz. Quizzes could be either Multiple Choice or Short Answer/Essay.


Research Paper Topic Selection


  • Each student will be required to submit a word document choosing a topic for their final research paper and brief description (no more than 2-3 sentences).


Research Paper Proposal


  • Each student will be required to submit a research paper proposal in a word document. Include a detailed description (Topic, Thesis or Problem Statement, General Outline, etc.) of you research paper as well as the APA citations for at least three sources.


Research Paper Abstract


  • Each student will be required to submit an abstract, per APA guidelines, for their final paper.


Research Paper and Power Point Presentation


  • Each student will be required to complete a Research Paper on their own selected topic.
  • Paper should be 12-15 pages
  • APA format including cover page, abstract, reference page, and in-text citations.
  • Each student will select a topic to be approved by the professor.
  • Topics are suggested to reflect something related to, but not limited to, the topics discussed in the course. (I encourage you to choose a topic of interest to relate to concepts of judgement and decision making)
  • It is encouraged to meet with the professor during office hours or via Skype to discuss your paper topic.
  • Each paper should have a clear thesis or problem statement. Problem statements or complex questions are encouraged.
  • Minimum of 10 references will be required although it is encouraged to utilize more resources. These refences should be from peer reviewed journals and other acceptable academic sources (i.e. refrain from using blogs, informal online writing, etc.)
  • Each student will prepare a Power Point Presentation for their research paper. It is encouraged to do a voice over presentation but not required. This will be submitted along with your paper.





Evaluation will be based on quality online participation, graded assignments, respect for other students in the course, and any other work assigned by the professor during the course. See Requirements and Grading for detail about each formal assignment.


Online Course Attendance Policy


Students enrolled in credit-bearing courses at Lackawanna College will fail any course(s) in which they accumulate absences beyond the maximum number allowed. This pertains to online courses as well. Attendance is defined by participating in an academic activity within the online classroom, which includes posting replies in a graded discussion forum or submitting a written assignment. *Please note that the beginning of course activities common to all courses (Syllabus quiz, Course Navigation Quiz, Academic Honesty Pledge, Autobiography) DO NOT count for attendance purposes.

Students that fail to participate in an academic activity as described above in the online classroom prior to the last day to drop/add a course will automatically be dropped from the course.

Students who miss one week of participation will be DROPPED from the course. It is the responsibility of the student to formally withdraw from the course at the Registrar’s office.


Online Course Discussion Policy


In order to understand, remember, and benefit from what we learn in class, discussion and interaction are critical. Responses such as, “I like what you said.” “I agree.” Or “Good thinking.” are NOT acceptable. Also, you should NOT simply repeat what someone else has already said.

Good Discussions in Course Resources will help you, but you should also use this rubric to gain all possible points for your contributions and, more importantly, to get the most out of our class discussion!

Ask yourself the following questions to help guide you in having a great discussion:

  • Did I answer the discussion questions directly demonstrating a clear understanding of the material that promoted conversation?
  • Did I support my answers to the discussion questions with research and reading?
  • Did I respond to at least two classmates?
  • Did I continue the conversation with peers that replied to my discussion?
  • Did I answer any additional questions the instructor may have asked?
  • Are all of my responses detailed and clear?
  • Did I participate in the discussion on 4 separate days?
  • Did I relate my responses to the course reading, notes, and/or personal life?
  • Did I provide the class with a response that is non-generic and inspiring – meaning that they learned from what I have contributed and can continue the conversation
  • Did I use proper grammar, spelling and netiquette?


Responses that do not move the conversation forward by providing information to which others can respond and build upon will negatively affect your weekly score.


Withdrawal Policy


A student has the privilege of withdrawing from any courses or from the College itself without academic penalty up to and including the final date for withdrawal indicated on the College calendar.

To withdraw officially from a course or from the College, a student must obtain the proper withdrawal form from the Student Affairs Office or from your Center Director, complete this form and submit it to the Registrar's Office before the final day for withdrawal without academic penalty as indicated on the College calendar. If a student stops attending a course for which he/she is registered after the published census date (end of drop/add) without having officially withdrawn from the course, the student will be assigned an AW (penalty-grade failure) for the class. No exceptions will be made.

Students who violate the College's Academic Integrity Policy and fail a course in consequence may not exercise the withdrawal privilege in that particular course.


Financial obligations to the College will be determined according to the Refund Policy.


Instructor Policies


  • All emails and responses posted in the General Questions section of the forum will be answered within one day.
  • All assignments will be graded within 3 days of the assignment due date


  • Class attendance and active participation is required.


  • There is no “extra credit”, so please don’t ask.
  • Allow at least 24 hours for a response via email. No questions will be answered about assignments within 24 hours of the due date.


  • Students are expected to complete assigned materials prior to class and to participate in online discussions.  Your contribution in class discussion is an important part of the learning process. 


  • Grades are non-negotiable.


  • Students are expected to exhibit honesty in all academic endeavors.




Your grade for the course will be based on an average of the scores that you earn on each assignment. Below, the first table shows the allocation of your course grade. The second table shows the value of each grade as determined by Lackawanna College.  Rubrics will be distributed with each assignment.

Course Assignment/Activity

 % Value

Due Date

Participation in Online Discussions


Initial Posts Due by Thursday each week (Note: Week 1 Initial posts are due Wednesday); Replies are due by Sunday each week.

Academic Honesty Pledge


Wednesday 8/29/18

Course Navigation Quiz


Saturday 9/1/18

Syllabus Quiz


Sunday 9/2/18

6 Weekly Writing Assignments and/or Quizzes


Sunday each week.

Research Paper Topic Selection


Sunday 9/9/18

Research Paper Proposal


Sunday 9/16/18

Research Paper Abstract


Sunday 10/7/18

Research Paper and Power Point Presentation


Tuesday 10/16/18


Letter Grade

Numeric Range

Quality Points


96 – 100



90 – 95



87 – 89



83 – 86



80 – 82



77 – 79



73 – 76



70 – 72



67 – 69



60 – 66



0 – 59



Due Dates and Late Penalties


  • The grace period for late assignments is as follows:
    • 1 day late-10% deduction off of the assignment grade
    • 2 days late-20% off of the assignment grade
    • 3 days late-the assignment will receive a grade of 0%
  • There will be no “extra credit.”


Academic Integrity


Academic dishonesty in any form, such as plagiarism and cheating, will not be tolerated. Sanctions will include an automatic F for plagiarism, but the severity or frequency of the violation may result in dismissal from the College as well. Please see the Student Handbook for a complete explanation.


The following are among the forms of dishonesty, in a classroom of any type, for which sanctions may be applied:

  • Using books, notes or other materials during an examination, unless expressly permitted;
  • Using purchased essays, term papers or preparatory research for such papers;
  • Copying others' work or engaging in unauthorized cooperation during an assignment or examination;
  • Allowing another student to copy from an examination or other assignment intended to be performed independently;
  • Borrowing from published works, whether material is taken verbatim or with minor alterations, without proper and/or sufficient acknowledgment;
  • Submitting as one’s own work originally done by someone else;
  • Submitting the same written report in more than one course without prior approval from the instructor(s) involved;
  • Stealing examinations or assignments;
  • Supplying or selling examinations or assignments;
  • Misrepresenting statements concerning work submitted;
  • Falsifying or fabricating experimental data or results;
  • Falsifying or fabricating the need for extensions on papers or make-up examinations.
  • Misrepresenting identity in an online course


(Please see student handbook for more information)


Disability Statement


Lackawanna College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity institution.  Students with disabilities and other needs should feel free to contact the instructor privately if there are services and adaptations which can be made to accommodate specific needs.  Students who are having difficulties with class material are strongly advised to seek assistance in the reading and writing lab.  If you feel that you have a disability that has not been formally documented, you may meet with Mrs. Christine Kiehart in the Disability Services office to discuss your options. Please note that disability services do not include exemption from participation requirements in courses considered part of the School of Distance Education, including online and hybrid courses.

Lackawanna College Notice of Nondiscrimination


Lackawanna College will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices, based on race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, ancestry, union membership, or any other legally protected classification. Announcement of this policy is in accordance with State Law including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and with Federal Law including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. Lackawanna College is committed to providing an educational and work environment that is free from unlawful sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and gender based harassment. 


In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Lackawanna College will not tolerate any forms of sexual misconduct including but not limited to: sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence and gender-based harassment by employees, students or third parties. This includes prohibiting discrimination against pregnant and parenting students. The College also prohibits retaliation against any person who makes a claim of discrimination or harassment or who provides information in such an investigation. This policy applies to admissions, employment, treatment and access to all programs and activities that take place either on or off the campus at Lackawanna College. 


Lackawanna College will fully and promptly investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct and will take action reasonably designed to resolve the complaint in an equitable manner, end a hostile environment if one has been created, prevent its recurrence, and, when appropriate, take steps to remedy its effects on individuals and the college community.

Lackawanna College complies with Title IX and all other federal laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in education programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Reports or inquiries regarding nondiscrimination should be made to:

Title IX Coordinator/ Executive Director of the Student Wellness Program, Marsha Pigga, Angeli Hall, Room 102, 501 Vine Street, Scranton PA, 18509 (570) 955-1466/ (570) 677-7589,

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action inquiries: Georgia Egan, Affirmative Action Officer/Director of Continuing Education, Angeli Hall, Room 300C, Vine Street, Scranton PA (570) 961-7815, or Gopu Kiron, Affirmative Action Officer/eLearning Director, Angeli Hall, Ground Floor, Vine Street, Scranton PA, (570) 504-7929,

Additional information regarding Title IX requirements and how to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights: Office of Civil Rights at, 800-421-3481. Philadelphia Office: Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education, The Wanamaker Building,100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323 Telephone: 215-656-8541, Email:   

Portfolio and Coursework


Lackawanna College will empower you to experience learning by inspiring your critical thinking, accessing your talents and skills, motivating you toward a career choice, and encouraging you to make a difference. In evidence of this learning, the College requires a graduation portfolio containing Career Documents, including a résumé, two letters of recommendation, and a career exploration; Core Coursework, including a research paper from College Writing; three sample papers or projects from Major Coursework; and a Lackawanna College Reflection Paper.


Course Schedule




Course Objective Met

Related Assignment, Assessment, or Learning Activity


Introduction; Perception, Memory, and Context


Online Discussions, Quizzes, Readings, etc. For more detail see the portal or requirements or grading section of the syllabus


How Questions Affect Answers


Online Discussions, Quizzes, Readings, etc. For more detail see the portal or requirements or grading section of the syllabus


Models of Decision Making


Online Discussions, Quizzes, Readings, etc. For more detail see the portal or requirements or grading section of the syllabus


Heuristics and Biases


Online Discussions, Quizzes, Readings, etc. For more detail see the portal or requirements or grading section of the syllabus


The Social Side of Judgement and Decision Making


Online Discussions, Quizzes, Readings, etc. For more detail see the portal or requirements or grading section of the syllabus


Common Traps in Decision Making


Online Discussions, Quizzes, Readings, etc. For more detail see the portal or requirements or grading section of the syllabus


Taking a step back; Student Research


Online Discussions, Quizzes, Readings, etc. For more detail see the portal or requirements or grading section of the syllabus



Exams will be weekly through either an online quiz or writing assignment.