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Arkistoitu opetusohjelma 2018–2019
Selaat vanhentunutta opetusohjelmaa. Voimassa olevan opetusohjelman löydät täältä.
FILS1 Social research and the behavioural sciences 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period III Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Advanced studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Filosofian tutkinto-ohjelma
Faculty of Social Sciences

Learning outcomes

The participant knows and understands current covers examples of the use of behavioral sciences in sociological settings, drawing inferences about decision strategies from new sources of data, as well as methodological issues related to social scientific explanation

General description

This course strives to build bridges between experimental research on decision making in cognitive science, behavioral economics and organizational behavior – especially judgement and decision making (JDM) research - and broader sociological research. Sociological theorists have proposed numerous general sociological theories of action for theoretically grounding case-specific empirical research theories. Sociologists’ skepticism towards the utility of experimental behavioral research is understandable, as most experimental designs deliberately aim to isolate individual behavior from the social context of action. This course is premised on the conviction that sociological and behavioral research perspectives on action are complementary, not conflicting, and that cross fertilization of these fields holds more promise for theoretically ambitious social research than new iterations of disciplinarily isolated sociological theories of action. The course covers examples of the use of insights from the behavioral sciences in sociological settings, drawing inferences about decision strategies from new sources of data (e.g., online behavior), as well as a philosophy of science perspective on social scientific explanation.

The course format is a reading seminar with recent research articles as course material. In addition, each student will make a short presentation on an empirical research article related to the methodological topic in question. Default example articles are provided by the teacher, but students can also make suggestions based on their interests (such as their thesis topic).

Tentative schedule:

  1. Introduction
  2. History and theory of decision research I
  3. History and theory of decision research II
  4. Philosophy of social explanation
  5. Preference construction
  6. Situationalism and its critics
  7. Dual-process theories
  8. Emotions and decisions
  9. Scarcity and decisions
  10. Decision heuristics and on-line data
  11. Social norms
  12. Political psychology
  13. Behavioral addictions

Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


Jaakko Kuorikoski, Teacher responsible


4-Sep-2018 – 11-Dec-2018
Lectures 24 hours
Tue 4-Sep-2018 - 11-Sep-2018 weekly at 14-16, Päätalo C6
Tue 18-Sep-2018 - 11-Dec-2018 weekly at 14-16, Linna K107


Numeric 1-5.

Evaluation criteria

No evaluation for PhD students; for students 1-5, based on writing assignments and the presentation. Evaluation is based on the depth and scope of understanding, competence in argumentation, and the degree of the students own engagement with the material.

Further information


PhD-students and advanced students of social sciences and philosophy students interested in philosophy of social science.

Participants write short (2-3 page) essays on three topics which they see as most relevant for their studies as well as provide a presentation of a selected topic. The writing assignments are also based on the provided background material.