Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedNot offered in 2011
Coordinator(s)Professor Tom Triggs & Dr Jim Phillips


An understanding of decision making is fundamental to professional and organisational activity, otherwise people evaluate risks, make decisions and take gambles without knowing odds or consequences. This unit provides an appreciation of issues faced by real-world decision makers by addressing: methods of analysis of real-life problems; decision aids; decisions made under stress. Lectures will outline rational and naturalistic accounts of decision-making, the behaviour of expert decision makers, and analyse some real-life decisions leading to catastrophic disasters. The laboratory program complements lectures, providing further training in analysis, oral presentation and teamwork.


On completion of this unit, students will have an appreciation of rational and naturalistic forms of the decision making process in professional practice and organisations with an emphasis upon expert decision making and the role of human error in catastrophe. Students will also have more advanced skills in report writing, essay writing and teamwork.


Examination (3 hours, short answer): 60% (50% lecture content
10% lab content)
Laboratory reports (2000 words): 20%
Essay (2000 words): 20%
Hurdle requirement: 75% lab attendance

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and the equivalent of one 2-hour laboratory per week


PSY2011 and PSY2022 or PSY2051