Online courses directory (13)
How can we get people to save more money, eat healthy foods, engage in healthy behaviors, and make better choices in general? There has been a lot written about the fact that human beings do not process information and make decisions in an optimal fashion. This course builds on much of the fascinating work in the area of behavioral economics and allows learners to develop a hands-on approach by understanding its methods and more importantly, how it can be harnessed by suitably designing contexts to “nudge” choice.
In three modules, learners will be able to a). explain and interpret the principles underlying decision-making and compare the nudging approach to other methods of behavior change, b). learn how to critique, design and interpret the results of experiments; and c). design nudges and decision-tools to help people make better decisions.
Understanding experimental design and interpretation is central to your ability to truly use behavioral economics and will set you apart from people who merely know about the behavioral research. After the first two weeks learning the basic principles, we will devote two weeks to studying experimental design and analysis, and the final two weeks to understanding processes for designing nudges and for helping people make better decisions.
You will also witness and participate in weekly topical debates on various topics like “does irrationality impact welfare?” or “what strategy is better for improving welfare – nudging or education?” If you’ve been fascinated with the buzz surrounding behavioral economics but are not sure how to actually use it, this course is for you.
Several leading scholars, policy makers, business people, authors and commentators will briefly join our debate and discussion sections. These guest lecturers include Professor Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard University), Professor John Lynch (University of Colorado), Rory Sutherland (Ogilvy Group), Owain Service (Behavioural Insights Team, UK Cabinet Office), Shankar Vedantam (NPR Columnist and Author – The Hidden Brain), Professors Andrew Ching, Avi Goldfarb, Nina Mazar, and Claire Tsai, Min Zhao (University of Toronto) and many others!
This self-paced course is designed to show that ethical theories can help provide frameworks for moral judgment and decision-making in the wake of recent scientific, technological, and social developments which have resulted in rapid changes in the biological sciences and in health care. This course also presents the academic foundations and historical development of multicultural moral decision-making and helps the student to develop their ability to interrelate reflectively, responsibly, and respectfully with a society of increasing intercultural connections. As grammar first describes how language is used, and then is in a position to prescribe how language ought to be used, is very similar to the approach taken in this course. This course first describes how people do in fact approach moral decision-making, and then is in a position to prescribe how multicultural and intercultural moral decision-making ought to made. Some of the topics to be covered are: Institutional Review Boards (IRB), Moral Development, Kant, Mill, Rawls, Informed Consent, Competency, Information Disclosure, Research on Human subjects, Principlism, and Food Systems. Required materials: Bioethics: Moral Philosophy, by Jeffrey W. Bulger, published by Plato
Explore current evidence linking climate change and public health while learning the fundamental co-benefits of climate change mitigation. Evaluate policies and interventions while gaining hands on experience communicating climate science and health to policy makers and the general public.
The letters of Paul are the earliest texts in the Christian scriptures, written by a Jew at a time when the word “Christian” hadn’t yet been coined. What is the religious and political context into which they emerged? How were they first interpreted? How and why do they make such an enormous impact in Christian communities and in politics today?
Archaeological materials and ancient writings will help you to enter the ancient Mediterranean world and to think about religious groups, power, poverty, health, and the lives of elites and slaves in the Roman Empire. We’ll explore how immediately controversial these letters were, and how these letters are used today to debate relations between Christians and Jews; issues such as love, law, and grace; and topics such as charismatic Christianity, homosexuality, and women’s religious leadership.
Whether you’ve been studying Paul’s letters for years or are merely curious about what Christian scriptures are, this course will provide you with information to deepen your understanding of the ancient contexts and present-day controversies about these texts.
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Modern industrial activities - which MIT engineers and scientists play a major role in - have significant environmental and social impacts. Trends towards further industrialization and globalization portend major challenges for society to manage the adverse impacts of our urban and industrial activities. How serious are current environmental and social problems? Why should we care about them? How are governments, corporations, activists, and ordinary citizens responding to these problems.
This course examines environmental and social impacts of industrial society and policy responses. We will explore current trends in industrialization, urbanization, and globalization, analyze the impacts these trends have on human health, environmental sustainability, and equity, and then examine a range of policy options available for responding to current problems. The course will present key trends in both domestic and international contexts.
We will examine four policy problems in particular during the course: (1) regulating industrial pollution; (2) regulating "sweatshops" and the broader impacts of globalization; (3) protecting ecosystems; and (4) protecting urban environments during development. We delve into specific cases of these challenges, including: chemical safety and toxins; computers, e-commerce, and the environment; biotech and society; sweatshops; and food production and consumption. Through these cases, we will explore underlying processes and drivers of environmental degradation. Finally, we will analyze opportunities and barriers to policy responses taken by governments, international institutions, corporations, non-governmental organizations, consumers, and impacted communities.
Objectives and Aims
- An understanding of the complexity of environmental and social impacts of industry;
- An ability to critically analyze policy responses;
- An understanding of the roles of different actors and institutions in environmental and social controversies;
- Means to evaluate institutional barriers to environmental and social policies;
- New ideas for better integrating industry, environment, and equity;
- New strategies for regulation in the global economy;
- An understanding about personal responsibilities and roles in environmental and social problems.