Problem Solving and Decision Making (Cognitive Psychology) Birbeck University of London
Price: GBP 515

    Course details


    No formal qualifications are required. However, all modules are taught at university level and students should be able to read, write and speak English fluently. Students new to psychology will benefit from undertaking some preparatory reading as detailed below.


    To introduce the theory of problem solving and decision making as it has been developed within the field of psychology, exploring practical applications in a range of settings.


    • Discuss the development of ideas within problem-solving and decision-making

    • Give an overview of research methods used within psychology including a basic evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

    • Discuss the development of expertise.

    • Discuss the role of creativity in problem solving.

    • Explore individual, social and situational factors that may influence problem-solving and decision-making.

    • Highlight current approaches, issues and debates.

    • Identify the ethical issues involved when conducting research in psychology (with particular reference to harm) and the issues that arise when trying to generalise results (for example across cultures).

    • Discuss applications within the students' own lives.

    • Support and develop students' study skills.

    • Support students to take part in the assessment process.

    • Build students' confidence in presenting their own ideas and in critical thinking.


    By the end of this course you will be able to:

    • Explain the process by which expertise is developed and apply this to some area of your own life. 

    • Discuss the range of factors which influence creative problem-solving.

    • Explain the social factors and individual differences which influence problem-solving and  decision-making. 

    • Explain factors which may confound problem-solving and decision-making and identify possible strategies for avoiding common sources of bias and error. 

    • Discuss possible applications of theories of problem-solving, decision-making and expertise.

    • Identify current approaches and debates, focusing primarily on information processing models.

    • Recognise a range of research methods that might be appropriate to the study of this area of psychology (identifying strengths and weaknesses of core methodologies, including both qualitative as well as quantitative approaches). 

    • Identify the ethical issues when conducting psychological research (with particular consideration of harm). 

    • Demonstrate an appropriate awareness of cultural considerations in the evaluation of theory and research. 

    • Think critically about the subjects covered.

    • Present your own ideas about issues addressed on the course.

    • Discuss and implement a range of strategies to support your learning.

    • Successfully plan and write essays or other assignments which have been set to support your learning on this course. 


    In this course we will explore the answers to the following questions:

    • What is a problem?

    • How has problem-solving been studied over the years?

    • How do we go about solving problems we are familiar with and problems we have not previously encountered? 

    • What is an expert and how do we become one?

    • What are some of the factors that affect our judgement when we are making decision?

    • How have models of decision-making changed over the years, and what models are currently emerging? 

    Updated on 22 November, 2018

    Job roles this course is suitable for:

    Psychologist , Psychology Lecturer , Behavior Therapist

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