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OB 115N: Games, Decisions and Negotiations

Human thinking is geared toward understanding and mastering social interactions. OB 115N explores cognitive, affective, behavioral, social and organizational processes that shape how we manage strategic interactions. The course builds on concepts and research findings from decision theory, behavioral game theory, negotiation research, and other relevant streams of investigation in the social sciences. By the end of this course, participants should have a better understanding of the structural and psychological factors that underlie competition and cooperation, bargaining, contracting, social influence, dispute resolution, and other types of social and organizational interactions. In addition to understanding how to analyze human thinking, feeling, and action in interactive contexts, participants will have opportunities to develop their behavioral skills through in-class exercises and simulations. Participants will play assigned roles in simulated interactions that will allow them to try out tactics that might feel uncomfortable trying in actual situations, get constructive feedback from other participants, and learn how they come across. The course readings, which are aimed to complement the in-class exercises, debriefs, and discussions, are aimed to further stimulate participants' interest in human cognition, emotion, and behavior in interactive contexts.To understand how decisions happen, we will use a combination of experiential exercises in class and in-depth discussions of theory and new and exciting research findings on cognitive and emotional aspects of decision making (e.g., what does "bounded-rationality" mean? how does power shape our negotiation behavior? how do our emotions influence our decisions?). We will play interactive games in our meetings to understand how various conditions, such as time pressure, power and uncertainty, influence our decisions. So, if you enjoy in-class exercises, you will enjoy our simulations. At the same time, if you enjoy analyzing human behavior and social interactions, you will like the readings and our discussions. After taking this course, you will be better able to identify and avoid common traps in strategic decision making and have a deeper understanding of other people's thinking and decision making processes.
Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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