Morning 02: Why we Do What we Do: Decision Making Processes and Emotional Facts
Functioning democracies rely on fact- and evidence-based decision-making by elected officials, public administrations held accountable by citizens. However, the rise of social media and new possibilities of assessing, processing and communicating information, have transformed the rules of the democratic game. How we access information and how and to whom we process it further is strongly related to social, cultural and partisan factors. At the same time decision making is heavily biased by conscious and unconscious emotional processing.
This seminar will assess what we know about how decision-making functions and where and how emotional processing is relevant in this context. What is involved in individual decision-making, in terms of biology, psychology and ethics? What and who is considered ‘emotional’ and what are the implications for external recognition and acceptance? Are there stages of moral development which may restrict people’s freedom to choose or enable them to weigh conflicting goods freely and choose creatively in a given situation? Are there ‘non-emotional’ decisions? How are the decisions of mass-movements triggered? This seminar will combine knowledge transfer through lectures and discussions with opportunities for self-exploration and experimentation.