HEVAL5150 – Decision making under risk and uncertainty
Schedule, syllabus and examination date
Health officials often have to make decisions and give advice on matters that involve risk and uncertainty. How much uncertainty is acceptable when implementing a screening program for mammography? How should the risk of unhealthy habits be communicated to the public? Should we make a decision right now or would it be better to wait and collect more information? Are we subject to psychological mechanisms that create systematically wrong decisions? Would we be better off trying to follow some simple decision rules instead of trying to calculate and select the alternative perceived to be the best? The course provides a general introduction to decision-making with special focus on problems related to health.
- Know the difference between risk, uncertainty
- Be able to discuss different concepts of probability
- Difference between expected value and expected utility
- Be able to explain St. Petersburg and Allais’ paradox
- Knowledge of mechanisms that distort probability estimation
- The use of “nudging” to change behaviour
- Different ways of communicating risk and uncertainty
- The concept of value of information
- Different decision rules and types of discounting
- Bayes` rule for forming correct beliefs
- Advantages and disadvantages of different ways of communicating uncertainty in health
- Be able to calculate expected value and net present value
- Estimate the value of more information
- Perform calculations using Bayes theorem
- Present information about risk in a jargon-free manner
- Ability to discuss strength and weaknesses of using p-values
- Increased awareness of weaknesses in human decisions-making
Rational choice, Expected value, St. Petersburg paradox, Expected Utility, Allais paradox, game theory, Bayesian updating, risk, uncertainty, risk communication, option value, exponential discounting, Hyperbolic discounting, Bounded rationality, heuristics and biases, screening, type I and II error, p-value, heuristics.
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Use of sources and citation
Language of examination
For students at Eu-HEM: English
For students at HEPAM: The problem set will be given in English. Answers can be given in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or in English.
Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.
Explanations and appeals
Resit an examination
For HEPMA students:
For Eu-HEM students:
An EU-hem student cannot present her or himself for the examination in a course more than two times. There will be held re-sits for EU-hem students who have failed an exam or who have legitimate absence (usually illness) in January and August. If you are entitled to a re-sit you must contact the student advisor via email no longer than one week after the result of the exam has been published.
Withdrawal from an examination
It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.
Special examination arrangements
Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.
The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.