Excerpt from course description

Problem solving, decision making and creativity


This course provides knowledge about how humans think: the doctrine of cognition. Cognitive psychology deals with all senior mental processes like senses and perception, attention, memory, problem solving, creativity, affect and decision making. This field is one of the biggest within psychological research and is connected to behavioral economics and practical organizational psychology. By learning about how people think and feel, one can achieve a greater understanding of oneself. By doing this, one can learn to solve problems in a more innovative way and make better decisions. This type of knowledge can be crucial when trying to create effective processes in knowledge intensive organizations, where people deal with problem solving, strategic decisions and creativity on a regular basis. Research indicates that theoretical knowledge about human cognition alone is not sufficient when trying to achieve better results. Therefore, the course offers a theoretical introduction to affect and cognition, along with techniques and work methods that can be used to succeed when solving problems, being creative, and making decisions.

Course content

The course is divided into five topics, and each of them deals with a distinct part of cognitive psychology. The first topics are related to knowledge about basic cognitive structures, while the latter subjects are more practically oriented.

  • Topic 1: What is a cognition – how does the mind work?
    • What does the architecture of the mind look like, and what is its basic function?
    • How do human beings perceive their surroundings: senses, attention, and perception?
  • Topic 2: The mind that adapts to its experiences
    • How humans store and retrieve knowledge and information
    • How learning happens
    • What is an intuition, and how does it work?
    • Under which conditions does experience lead to genuine expertise
    • How to become better at predicting
  • Topic 3: Problem solving and creativity
    • Different types of problem solving
    • Work methods and techniques that foster problem solving at an individual and group/team level and organizational level
    • What is creativity, why is it important, and how can it be measured?
    • Work methods and techniques that foster creativity
  • Topic 4: Decision making
    • Normative and descriptive decision theory; why we should make decisions, and how we actually make decisions
    • Common decision traps, and techniques to avoid them
  • Topic 5: Application: Individual, organization and culture
    • Measures to promote good decisions at an individual and organizational level
    • Individual and cultural differences in decision style


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.