Choice architecture: When students become designers of optimal decision processes

Awardee: Jennifer Lerner (HKS)

Summary: Awardee will develop in-class and online activities to improve student decision-making and increase classroom engagement.

Inspired by research suggesting that decision-makers embody a variety of cognitive and emotional biases in economic, medical, and political contexts, awardee will develop an interactive tool to teach students to practice de-biasing techniques such as:

1) analyzing a decision from a real-life case,
2) designing strategies to mitigate potential biases in the scenario,
3) empirically testing the effectiveness of their strategies, and
4) accumulating knowledge about de-biasing techniques applicable to any decision-making scenario.

Professor Jennifer Lerner will measure success with quantitative data about the accuracy and optimality of the online decision makers’ judgments and choices. She will develop and disseminate teaching materials (i.e., bias handouts and pre-tested scenarios) for the Harvard community and create a website summarizing empirically tested de-biasing techniques and their effectiveness.