Life is full of small and big decisions: from what brand of toothpaste to buy, to whom to vote for, to where to go to college, to how to Iive ethically. It is also full of people trying to persuade us to buy their brand, elect their party, choose their school, and follow their path to the afterlife. So, how do we make such decisions? And what influences us to make up or change our mind? In this colloquium, we will examine some competing theories of decision-making. Even as we strive to be rational, we are prone to some predictable irrationalities that range from dogmatism and impulsivity, to indecisiveness and procrastination. Furthermore, as consumers, voters, and jurors we are sometimes swayed by advertising, rhetoric, and persuasion. We will consider what is meant by rationality, why we become entrenched in our beliefs, and how and why we change our minds. Ultimately, we will explore ways to make better decisions, that involve learning how to keep an open mind while also knowing when and how to commit oneself. Our course materials will include Dan Arielys’ Predictably Irrational, films such as 12 Angry Men, journal articles, and the occasional guest speaker.
Source: College Colloquium Page
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