Since the start of the war, we have lived in a new reality that many of us refuse to accept. We choose only to accept the news that coincides with our understanding of the world. We make long-term plans as if we know when the war will end. All our psychological biases work to maintain the illusion of "life as it was before the war."
Accepting change is one of the most important survival skills in war. In this course, you will learn how to understand the decision-making process along with the physical limitations of the brain under conditions of tremendous uncertainty and stress. You will discover what role emotions play in the perception of enemy propaganda and news from the front. You will learn why the same information affects very similar people differently. During this course, you will look at facts from different angles, and make decisions depending on these frames. You will study the basics of mental accounting and understand how it affects a person’s desire to contribute to the front and volunteer. You will understand why and how we make such decisions, and whether it is possible to learn to be more effective and self-aware.
at play during conditions of uncertainty
social norms, and "unimportant" external factors on the end result
when everything seems so simple
someone else's behavior with just one word
Discover whether it can be predicted
and cognitive biases to better understand the behavior of your colleagues, friends, and enemies
or do not leave cities that are constantly shelled.
on decision-making and emotional state, and avoid being swayed by extreme sweeping statements; from "all is lost" to "tomorrow we will win”
With a Master of Economic Theory from the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy, a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Kentucky, and over 15 years of employment with the Kyiv School of Economics, Dr. Vakhitov has acquired versatile experience in Applied Econometrics, Urban and Regional Economics, Productivity Analysis and Behavioral Economics. Over the last ten years, the latter has become his main theme and passion. Dr. Vakhitov has taught courses at MA and MBA levels in Ukraine and internationally, held multiple training programs for Ukrainian businesses (DTEK, SCM, Raiffeisen Bank, PUMB, Sevier, Softserve, just to mention a few) and international organizations (UNDP, USAID), and authored dozens of articles and interviews in the local media as well as articles in international scientific journals. After the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, Dr. Vakhitov has actively applied his knowledge of behavioral economics to such topics as overcoming the hesitance of civilians to evacuate from war zones, increasing the efficiency of charitable contributions, and overcoming the consequences of PTSD. Also, Dr. Vakhitov runs the only Ukrainian-language blog about behavioral economics, BeSmart.
She works on projects that study behavior and decision-making in different situations to suggest better, behaviorally sound policies. For example, why people (do not) vaccinate against COVID-19 or polio? Why people (do not) evacuate from dangerous zones during the Russian-Ukrainian war? What affects larger charitable donations? She also studies how communications influence behavior. For example, can we develop proper messages to encourage more socially acceptable and less risky behavior? Nataliia also conducts training for NGOs, businesses, and students on behavioral economics, critical thinking, storytelling with data, soft skills, and career development.
1.1. What a rational choice should look like
1.2. What information is available to us
1.3. What helps us to make a choice when there is not enough information
2.1. How we perceive simple probabilities
2.2. How a minor additional factor makes it difficult to understand the odds
2.3. How the risk perception affects decisions
2.4. How we avoid uncertainty
3.1. How does a thinking pattern affect a change in preferences?
3.2. Why do the same people play the lottery and buy insurance?
3.3. What do we lose when we choose something else?
3.4. Why don't we like to lose?
4.1. How to preserve the psyche and continue to work against the background of real and expected losses?
4.2. How do mental accounts allow you to redistribute money more efficiently?
4.3. How to submit charity projects?
4.4. The strength of the default values. Why do we always have to simplify?
4.5. How to encourage the development of habits?
5.1. If there was a strike today, will there be a strike tomorrow?
5.2. Would the robot be able to recognize the enemy's sabotage and reconnaissance group?
5.3. Is it possible to convince the "vatnik"?
5.4. How effective are celebrities in collecting donations?
5.5. Where do you hang the additional protection on a military aircraft?
6.1. Emotions of events and emotions of expectations.
6.2. The idea of an identified victim in fundraising and in propaganda.
6.3. Emotional swing.
6.4. The role of emotional intelligence for volunteers, those who work with people, and civil servants. The role of trauma and post-traumatic syndrome in a post-war society, and how we can deal with it.
7.1. Ways of non-monetary motivation: the difference between physical and intellectual work
7.2. Effects of trust, simplicity, monetary stress (penalties vs. bonuses), IKEA effect, shared experience effect
7.3. How to force yourself to work effectively during the war?
8.1. How does the environment affect us? Is a human really a "social animal"?
8.2. How important is it to follow the peacetime social norms during wartime?
8.3. Feeling of social responsibility and group dynamics.
8.4. Do standard wartime experiments (ultimatum, dictator, common cause games) work?
The course is fully delivered in Ukrainian. All learning materials, including reading and video, are in Ukrainian too. Your individual and group assignments are expected to be prepared in Ukrainian as well.
This course is aimed at a wide audience and does not require any special prerequisites. Still, some working experience would help you to better understand some of the concepts.
This course includes 90-minute live sessions with instructors twice per week in the evenings. Self-study may include reading materials or videos. You will also be receiving some homework, which may include individual and group assignments. The estimated time dedication for this course is 6-10 hours per week, but this largely depends on you.
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be awarded a certificate accredited by American University Kyiv
No, credits earned from this course are not transferrable and may not count toward Master’s or Bachelor’s programs should you decide to pursue this path of study.
Payments may be made online via our website, or you may request an invoice from our accounting department. American University Kyiv does not accept cash payments.
American University Kyiv offers wartime scholarships to all Ukrainian citizens who enroll in AUK programs. This course, in particular, has a 50% scholarship which is currently reflected in the course cost.
If your employer agrees to pay for your study, you may inquire about the proforma invoice from our accounting department.
If you do not meet the course completion requirements, you will not be entitled to receive a certificate of completion. This course will be offered on a repeated basis, and you may enroll one more time.
All live sessions will be recorded, so you may watch them later via a shared link.