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Home | Events | Summer School | Behavioral Decision Making

Behavioral Decision Making

Understanding Decisions in Business and Society

July 18-22, 2022 in Amsterdam, Zuidas


Kobe Millet is Associate Professor at the Marketing Department of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His current research interests include: self & identity in (consumer) decision making; sustainability; prosocial and selfish behavior; irrationality in general.

Michail Kokkoris is Associate Professor at the Marketing Department of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research interests lie in the fields of consumer behavior, decision making, and identity. His current work focuses on self-control and individual differences in decision making.

Meet the lecturers.


Every single day, people make countless judgments and decisions. In every domain – financial, consumer, professional, romantic, health-related, etc. – people want to make the right decision. But whereas most people believe they are capable of making good decisions, reality shows that often they do not, even for decisions that may be consequential or life-changing. Why do savvy people make sometimes weird and even ‘foolish’ judgments and decisions? 

For example, consider the following questions: Why do real estate agents consider a house they inspected to be more valuable when the seller listed it at a higher price? Why do doctors tend to overestimate the risk of addiction when prescribing opioid analgesics for pain relief and undertreat severe pain as a result? Why are investors more likely to keep their losing than their winning stocks? Why would more individuals spend $10 on a theater ticket if they had just lost a $10 bill than if they had to replace a lost ticket worth $10? Why are people who buy a four-day ski pass less likely to ski all four days than people who buy four one-day ski passes? Why do consumers choose a refrigerator that costs 50€ less than another equivalent model, but consumes 50€ more in electricity every 2 years? Why does unethical behavior increase with creativity?

This course provides insight into scientific research on judgment and decision making, where psychology and economics collide and collaborate to understand human behavior. It provides basic knowledge of theories, concepts and methods that is necessary to understand how decisions are made. The course is inspired by the groundbreaking, Nobel-prize winning work of Tversky and Kahneman (Nobel prize 2002), Thaler (Nobel prize 2017) as well as seminal work and research programmes of other leading thinkers in the field. The course is largely centered around the question of how and when humans deviate from rational thinking. This is captured by a well-documented array of heuristics and biases that help to make reasonable and accurate decisions in some areas, but may crucially misguide in others. We will discuss eye-opening research that documents several well-known biases as well as focus on mental accounting, loss/gain framing, (intertemporal) choices, visceral influences, self-control and well-being, nudging, forecasting, motivated reasoning and (dis)honesty.

During the lectures, basic concepts and theories will be discussed, specific issues related to the literature will be further explained, and certain topics will be zoomed in on. The lectures are not merely repetition of the course literature, but they provide additional perspectives and in-depth information. You will work in small teams on group assignments.


The target audience of this course is research-oriented students (PhD or Research Master students) or highly qualified professionals (MSc or PhD degree). The summer school can be of interest to professionals of various fields (e.g., law, management, health and medicine, engineering, programming, big data analytics, communication, advertising) interested in understanding the behavioral aspects of decision making and the psychological mechanisms underpinning it. Participants should be ready to actively participate and contribute to thoughtful and in-depth discussions during the course.

Admission requirements

Students currently pursuing a research masters or a PhD degree; Professionals with a MSc or PhD degree.

Recommended readings

To be added at the start of the course

Academic Director Associate Professor Kobe Millet and Associate Professor Michail Kokkoris
Degree programma Certificate
Credits Participants who joined at least 80% of all sessions, hand in the team assignment and deliver a quality presentation at the end of the week receive a certificate of participation stating that the summer school is equivalent to a workload of 3 ECTS. Note that it is the student’s own responsibility to get these credits registered at their own university.
Mode Short-term
Language English
Venue Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam, Gustav Mahlerplein 117, 1082 MS Amsterdam
Capacity 30 participants (minimum 15)
Fees Tuition Fees and Payment
Application deadline June 1, 2022
Apply here Link to application form


Summer School