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Health Judgment and Decision Making

NIH - Bethesda, MD
3rd term
Health Behavior and Society
2 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
Class Times:
  • Friday,  9:00 - 10:50am
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor :
  • William Klein
William Klein

Provides a foundation in cognitive, emotional, and motivational processes underlying judgment and decision making in a variety of health contexts. Focuses on antecedents and consequences of adaptive and maladaptive health judgments and decisions, with particular attention to risk perception and communication, application of decisional heuristics, and personal beliefs underlying health decisions. Considers how people make decisions, how they respond to health information, and how they mentally represent illness, as well as how health teams make decisions. Prepares students to apply basic research on health judgment and decision-making to effective genetic counseling and other applied settings.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify key assumptions of normative and descriptive decision-making
  2. Explain how human emotions and motives influence health judgments and decisions
  3. Develop risk communication modalities that build on extant research on risk perception and risk communication
  4. Apply the principles taught in the course to a specific research or clinical domain
Methods of Assessment:

class preparation and participation, including readings, class discussion, and presentation of an empirical paper within class (75%); paper (with critiques from other students and revision) (25%)

Enrollment Restriction:

No undergraduates

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Required for students other than ScM in Genetic Counseling students

For consent, contact: