PSY4301 – Judgment and Decision-Making and Social Cognition

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

Judgment and decision making (JDM) is a branch of cognitive psychology. Much of cognitive psychology gives a purely descriptive account on how people think. In contrast, JDM research focuses on readily observable judgments and decisions and also address whether these behaviors are consistent with how people should think. For example, memory psychologists investigate how information is categorized in memory. JDM researchers interested in memory focus on how memory influences judgments and decisions. Judgments and decisions are an essential part of most professions. JDM research is therefore highly relevant to applied disciplines in various fields, including health care, organizational behavior, computer science, economics, law etc.

The course also contains topics in Social Cognition (SC). SC lies in the intersection between social and cognitive psychology and deals with how we perceive, interpret, describe, and explain events and actions related to self and others in daily life. SC is the study of such questions as: How do we make judgments about the characteristics of ourselves and other people? How do we figure out what other people are thinking and feeling? What role do our self-concepts and our various goals and motives play in guiding our behavior?

This course examines research literature on selected topics within JDM and SC. The students are expected to participate in the general discussion following each topic presentation. They also have to write a term paper. The theme of the paper can either be a research proposal, a review of the research literature, or an application of JDM/SC principles/findings to some practical problems.

Learning outcome

The purpose of this course is to provide the students with a foundation for doing JDM research on master’s degree level. The course gives the students an up-to-day overview of selected JDM-research and more thorough knowledge of the topic addressed in their chosen term paper. They will get training in analyzing and presenting research literature.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

See course prerequisites web page


Teaching is delivered in the form of lectures, seminars and supervision. Attendance is compulsory in both lectures and seminars. In order to pass this course, you are also required to give an oral presentation of a research article.

Compulsory tuition activities are valid for the 2 next semesters after approval date.

Absence from compulsory tuition activities

If you are ill or have another valid reason for being absent from compulsory tuition activities, your absence may be approved or the compulsory activity may be postponed.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Essay (15 pages) with supervisor guidance.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. If you would prefer to have the exam text in English, you may apply to the course administrators.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

If you are an exchange student, please note that you will receive a pass or fail for this course and this cannot be converted into an A-F grading scale.

Description of criteria for pass/fail

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course

Every autumn

This course is discontinued (last exam fall 2018).

Every autumn
Teaching language