Human Biases in Decision
Making: Avoiding the Traps

Identify and avoid decision-making traps

Understand the ways in which your mind, personality, and social structures can degrade your decision-making. Acquire mental models and strategies that take these biases into account so that you can make more informed judgments and better decisions.

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Presented by a collaboration of the SDG Decision Education Center and our academic partner, Texas Executive Education at The University of Texas, Austin

  • Description
  • Instructors
  • Earn a Certificate
  • CEU

The human mind isn’t wired to make high-quality decisions. Because of how our minds work, errors and pitfalls keep us and our colleagues from making decisions that add the most value. Understand how natural behavioral processes lead to biases, distortion and mistakes. Explore the preventive measures and techniques you can use to reduce these biases, improve individual decisions and enrich organizational decision processes.


  • Discover six categories of biases that produce most of the mistakes in decision making
  • Discuss how overconfidence, confirmation bias and hindsight bias can keep us from seeking critical information and making realistic judgments
  • Understand the limiting effects of unconscious self-serving biases in yourself and others
  • Examine five types of associations we use to make judgments which can be misleading
  • Recognize the distortions created by relative comparisons and simplification
  • Anticipate how capacity on perception, attention, memory, reasoning and choice influence our decisions
  • Balance conflict and cooperation to minimize the negative effects and increase the positive influences of group dynamics
  • Develop a personal action plan for counteracting natural decision problems and reducing the impact of negative decision behaviors in your organization

Prerequisites: None

Delivery Options
  • At UT Austin
  • At your workplace



Art Markman
Art Markman is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and serves as director of the school's program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations. He has published numerous works on topics in higher-level thinking including decision making and creativity. He is on the editorial board of Cognitive Psychology and is the author of multiple books including Smart Thinking: Three Essential Keys to Solve Problems, Innovate, and Get Things Done (Penguin, 2012).


Jennifer Meyer
Jennifer Meyer is an expert in strategy development, economic evaluation, and business portfolio modeling for decision situations that require both technically complex analyses and organizationally complex alignment processes. A partner at SDG, she is a coauthor of Decision Quality: Value Creation from Better Business Decisions (Wiley, 2016).


Carl Spetzler
Carl Spetzler has helped top business leaders over 40 years to create innovative new strategies that deal with the complexities of uncertainty and risk over long time horizons. Chairman of Strategic Decisions Group, he is the lead author of Decision Quality: Value Creation from Better Business Decisions (Wiley, 2016).

The Strategic Decision and Risk Management Certificate Program provides executives and mid-career professionals with the concepts and advanced knowledge to make high-quality decisions and embrace risk and uncertainty for competitive advantage. The certificate is a recognition that you have the advanced skills to lead decision making in your organization. Earn the SDRM certificate by completing six 2-day classes.

SDG is pleased to collaborate with The University of Texas at Austin to offer the SDRM certificate.

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This course is ideal for those seeking continuing education units (CEUs) or continuing professional education units (CPEs) to maintain or advance your professional skills. Participants earn 1.40 CEUs and/or 14 CPEs for this course.