Smolny Beyond Borders

A Liberal Arts Initiative

Understanding Human Behavior



Course Schedule:

Tuesday/Thursday 4:10 – 5:30 Berlin (UTC + 2)

Professor: Mikhail Allakhverdov
Semester: Spring 2024 (January 29  – May 21)
Subject: PSY
Course Level: 100
Number of Bard Credits: 4 Course Title: Understanding Human Behavior
Max Enrollment: 22
Schedule: Tue Thurs 4:10 – 5:30 Berlin (UTC + 2)
Distribution Area: Mind, Brain, Behavior
Language of Instruction: English

Why do people around us sometimes do something that we consider unquestionably flawed, and why do they try to prove us wrong even when we are confident in our decisions and worldview? In this course we will delve into the complexities of decision-making in the modern era. This comprehensive course takes a multidimensional approach, drawing insights from cognitive and social psychology to shed light on the fascinating intricacies of human behavior. Participants will gain a deep understanding of our cognitive system and explore the multitude of cognitive biases that impact our judgment. Through engaging discussions, we will unravel the mechanisms that make us susceptible to these biases, examining their influence on decision-making processes. Moreover, the course will emphasize the pivotal role of social interaction in shaping our choices. We will explore how our interactions with others impact our decision-making, revealing the captivating dynamics at play. This course will not only provide a platform for discussing these concepts, but also offer hands-on experiences, enabling participants to gain practical insights into human behavior. By the course’s conclusion, students will develop a profound appreciation for the intricate factors that shape human decision-making. Empowered with knowledge, they will be better equipped to navigate the complexities of human behavior in various personal and professional contexts. Overall, this promises to be a thought-provoking exploration of human behavior, encouraging participants to challenge their assumptions and broaden understanding of the diverse perspectives that influence decision-making.

Guidelines for the Statement of Purpose:
Craft a reflective statement of purpose explaining your interest in the Smolny Beyond Borders online course. The file should be saved with your name and course title as the filename and uploaded accordingly. Your statement’s clarity and substance will significantly influence our selection. Convey your motivations and aspirations for this course succinctly but thoroughly. Kindly write your statement in the course’s Language of Instruction. 

Application Portal Instructions:
1) Use the Latin alphabet for all entries on the portal, including your name. If the Language of Instruction is Russian, you may use Cyrillic only within the Statement of Purpose file, and the title of the file should still be in English.
2) Refrain from using email addresses associated with Russian or Belarusian educational institutions.
3) While completing the “Required Information” section, ensure you fill in the “Province” field for your address.
4) Provide an address outside Russia or Belarus in both the “Required Information” and “Geographic Location Confirmation” sections of the “Online Course Application”. This ensures we can send your transcript.
5) You must press the “Sign” button twice during the application.
6) If you hold a bachelor’s degree, select “4th+” in the “Academic Year (online)” section.
7) Applicants either unaffiliated or affiliated with educational institutions in Russia and Belarus should list ‘Smolny Beyond Borders’ as their educational institution.
8) In the student ID section, enter ‘SBB’.
9) Consider drafting your motivation letter ahead of time. Save it as a separate file with this format: LastName_FirstName_CourseTitle for a smoother application process.