The Judgment and Decision Making track in the PhD program in Public Policy provides a curriculum for doctoral students seeking rigorous interdisciplinary training in psychological science, behavioral economics, and decision science, with a focus on understanding and improving public policy.  A typical program of study includes emphasis on descriptive and normative approaches as well as on prescriptive interventions.

Graduates will be prepared for academic teaching and research positions in public policy schools, interdisciplinary programs (e.g., management, decision science), and traditional behavioral science departments (e.g., psychology), as well as for analytic positions in industry, think tanks, government, and international institutions.  

HKS has a strong core of faculty specializing in judgment and decision-making research as well as faculty specializing in applied policy domains where students may wish to focus.  Intrinsic to the program are teaching and research opportunities with leading scholars at HKS and elsewhere at Harvard. 

PPOL PhD student Ke Wang led a study to determine whether interventions to mitigate negative emotions and increase positive emotions could improve psychological resilience and help people respond better to adversity. Professor of Public Policy, Decision Science, and Management Jennifer Lerner, who is Wang’s advisor, was also an author in the study.