MGMT E-5810 The Psychology of Big Data for Decision Makers and Managers
This course looks at data science from a psychological perspective. Big data is changing the way organizations function and the way individuals make decisions, which means that we need to re-examine what we know about organizational behavior and decision making. A greater focus on collecting and analyzing massive amounts of data means that decision makers are inundated with information. But how can decision makers critically assess this information and, in turn, clearly communicate lessons learned from big data to different audiences? We discuss the practical implications of big data within the framework of research in organizational behavior, judgment and decision making, and social psychology. Our discussions focus on how we can leverage lessons from big data to make more accurate predictions, decisions, and self-assessments; provide useful performance feedback to others; and lead and manage teams through improved communication. A running theme of class discussions includes how people respond to output from big data, produced by algorithms (scripts for mathematical calculations). This course provides students with the competitive edge to understand how to assess and leverage lessons produced by big data for individual decision making and decision making within organizations. No background in either computer science or psychology is necessary. We give students the tools and confidence to critically evaluate the merit of ideas rather than taking them at face value. Students learn how to evaluate research, be it from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Economist, or a co-worker, which is useful far beyond the classroom.