Guías Académicas




Curso 2022/2023

1. Subject Information

(Date last modified: 07-05-22 19:39)
Second semester
Derecho Público General
Virtual platform

Campus Virtual de la Universidad de Salamanca

Professor Information

Guillermo Enrique Boscán Carrasquero
Fac. Derecho
Espacio ACPA, Planta Jardín
Office hours
Under request by email
Web address
923 294 500 – Ext. 3510

2. Association of the subject matter within the study plan

Curricular area to which the subject matter pertains.

Mandatory (Obligatoria)

Purpose of the subject within the curricular area and study plan.

Mandatory (Obligatoria)

Professional profile.

Decision maker in political or international organizations; political or international analyst; political or international consultant.

3. Prerequisites

Attend classes, follow the course closely trying to achieve the objectives in each unit.

4. Learning objectives

The main objective of this course is to know and understand the different decision-making mechanisms at the individual, group, and institutional levels. The focus is on basic models and on examples of its applications to understand real world social, political, and international issues.

5. Contents


1 How do we decide? An experimental approach on individual decision making.

2 Theorical foundations: The Individual decision-making process in different social sciences fields.

3 Rational Choice and Bounded Rational Choice perspectives.

4 How to decide? Techniques and tools for making better choices.

5 Game Theory.

6 How to achieve an agreement? Negotiation methods.

7 Groups and decision-making rules.

8 Cooperation and the logic of collective action.

9 Institutional games in national and international arenas.

6. Competences acquired

Basic / General.

CB2. That students know how to apply their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and possess the skills that are often demonstrated through the development and defense of arguments and problem solving within your area of study.

CB3. Students have the ability to gather and interpret relevant data normally within their area of study of to make judgments that include a reflection on relevant social, scientific, or ethical issues.

CB4. To enable students to convey information, ideas, problems, and solutions to a specialized audience as unskilled.

CB5. Students have developed those learning skills necessary to undertake studies with a high degree of autonomy.

CG1 - Apply the knowledge acquired to solve specific problems in new or unfamiliar environments within of broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts.

CG3 - Develop organizational, task planning and project coordination skills that facilitate teamwork.

CG4 - Develop skills to design and implement practical problem-solving plans and programs with a global or multidisciplinary approach.


CE13 - Know and understand the different mechanisms of decision making and problem solving in the international context.


Ability to reflect on theoretical issues

Ability to analyze empirical information

Ability to link empirical analyses and theoretical issues.

7. Teaching methods

To ensure the acquisition of each of the theoretical aspects listed, each topic is supported by a practical activity that includes the planning, conducting and the analysis of experiments on decision making in different fields. Students are also required to prepare a final paper in which they must apply the knowledge acquired to the study of a real decision-making case.

8. Anticipated distribution of the use of the different teaching methods

9. Resources

Reference books.

  • Binmore, K. Game Theory, a Very Short Introduction Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Bueno de Mesquita, B. Principles of International Politics (5th ed.) CQ Press, 2013.
  • Chankong, V., & Haimes, Y. Y. (2008). Multiobjective decision making: theory and methodology. Courier Dover Publications.
  • Coleman, J. S., & Fararo, T. J. (1992). Rational choice theory. Nueva York: Sage.
  • Cox, G. W. (1999). The empirical content of rational choice theory: A reply to Green and Shapiro. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 11(2), 147-169.
  • De Martino, B., Kumaran, D., Seymour, B., & Dolan, R. J. (2006). Frames, biases, and rational decision-making in the human brain. Science, 313(5787), 684-687.
  • Doyle, J. (1999). Rational decision making. MIT encyclopedia of the cognitive sciences, 701-703.
  • Edwards, W. (1954). The theory of decision making. Psychological bulletin, 51(4), 380.
  • Ferejohn, J., & Satz, D. (1996). Unification, universalism, and rational choice theory. The Rational Choice Controversy, 71-84.
  • Fiorina, M. P., & Putterman, L. (1996). Rational choice, empirical contributions, and the scientific enterprise (pp. 85-94). Yale University Press.
  • Forsyth, T., & Johnson, C. (2014). Elinor Ostrom's legacy: governing the commons, and the rational choice controversy. Development and Change, 45(5), 1093-1110.
  • Friedman, J. (Ed.). (1996). The rational choice controversy: Economic models of politics reconsidered. Yale University Press.
  • Friedman, J. (Ed.). (1996). The rational choice controversy: Economic models of politics reconsidered. Yale University Press.
  • Hernández, A. (2020). La lógica y el arte de decidir. Aprende a tomar decisiones correctas. Almuzara, Madrid.
  • Green, D., & Shapiro, I. (1994). Pathologies of rational choice theory: A critique of applications in political science. Yale University Press.
  • Green, D., & Shapiro, I. (2009). Revisiting the pathologies of rational choice. In The flight from reality in the human sciences (pp. 51-99). Princeton University Press.
  • Kahneman, D,Thinking Fast and Slow, Farrar and Strauss, 2013
  • Keohane, R. O. (2002). Rational choice theory and international law: Insights and limitations. The Journal of Legal Studies, 31(S1), S307-S319.
  • Kochenderfer, M. J. (2015). Decision making under uncertainty: theory and application. MIT press.
  • Koechlin, E. (2020). Human Decision-Making beyond the rational decision theory. Trends in cognitive sciences, 24(1), 4-6.
  • Morrow, J. D. (1994). Game theory for political scientists. Princeton University Press.
  • Scott, J. (2000). Rational choice theory. Understanding contemporary society: Theories of the present, 129, 671-85.
  • Shafir, E., Tversky, A., Smith, E. E., & Osherson, E. E. D. (2002). Decision making. Foundations of Cognitive Psychology: Core Readings, 601-620.
  • Shespsle, K. Analyzing Politics: Rationality, Behavior and Instititutions (2nd ed.) Norton, 2010.
  • Simon, H. A. (1979). Rational decision making in business organizations. The American economic review, 69(4), 493-513.
  • Stevenson, M. K., Busemeyer, J. R., & Naylor, J. C. (1990). Judgment and decision-making theory.
  • Walt, S. M. (1999). Rigor or rigor mortis? Rational choice and security studies. International security, 23(4), 5-48.
  • Weingast, B. R. (1996). Political institutions: Rational choice perspectives. A new handbook of political science, 167, 168.

Other bibliographic references, electronic or other types of resources.

Avalilable at the Studium platform

10. Assessment

General considerations.

The evaluation aims at verifying the advance of students during the entire semester. The knowledge taught is progressive. It ranges from the simplest to the most complex items.

Assessment criteria.

Planning and conducting an experiment on decision making: 30%

The sum of the essays analyzing the results of the experiments: 50%

Final Assignment: 20%

Assessment tools.

  • Planning and conducting an experiment on decision making.
  • Elaboration of different essays for the analysis of the results of the different experiments.
  • A final work in which the students will have to apply the theoretical knowledge acquired to the analysis of a real case of decision making.

Assessment recommendations.

Attend classes, follow the course closely trying to achieve the objectives in each unit.

Guidelines in the case of failing the subject.

All content will be evaluated in the second call. It will consist on a research paper where the student will have to demonstrate that he or she has acquired all the skills of the course. Grades from previous exercises, such as reports or tests, will not be considered at this stage.

11. Weekly teaching organization