When uncertainty is overwhelming: how do we make decisions in times of war?

The war has brought enormous uncertainty into our lives. It makes it much harder to make decisions, both everyday decisions (Should I go to the shelter during an alarm if a MiG has taken off somewhere?) and long-term strategic decisions (My city is being shelled periodically. Is it time to evacuate or not?). We don't have time to process the huge amount of information we receive every day, and therefore often don't know how to act in a given situation. However, we still make some decisions, not necessarily the best ones. How does this process work? 


In the course " Wartime Behavioral Economics" we will analyze this complex and unobvious way of making decisions when there are many unknowns. We will show the role of cognitive illusions and biases and explain how they help us filter, process and interpret the facts around us. We will also test the limits of our own rationality. By understanding the nature of cognitive distortions in ourselves and in our partners, we will be able to become more organized and self-aware and understand how to make better and more effective decisions.  


Dates: May 11 (Module 1) and May 18, 2024 (Module 2)
Duration: 10:00 - 14:00
Location: AUK campus (Kyiv, Poshtova Ploscha 1)
Language: Ukrainian

Speakers: Volodymyr Vakhitov, Natalia Zaika
Cost: $129 $116 if paid by April 28

Registration form
Learning outcomes
About the entire decision-making cycle under uncertainty

and understand why not all our decisions are optimal

What helps us to filter out the necessary information

and why our enemies stubbornly and openly lie about our history

How our mental models affect the interpretation of neutral facts

and why optimism about the end of the war is declining (and what is the role of propaganda)

Stereotypes: do they help or hinder?

How cats help to donate, and why we can rarely assess the rationality of other people

Why we have to act quickly

and what intuition really is

How to calibrate self-confidence

and why it is important to learn to let go of the lost past

How one word can dramatically change behavior

and how to learn how to build a useful conversation framework

Why we don't go to the shelter during air raid alert

but believe in the "second wall" effect

This course is designed for:
  • HR Managers & Department heads who want to understand the reasons for changing behavior and motivation of their teams
  • Marketing, Researchers & Consumer insights managers who aim to capture rapidly changing consumers' needs & wants
  • Business owners, Sales & Business development managers who want to master the decision-making process and find new strategies through difficulties or crises
  • Driven individuals & proactive organizers who want to make plans and decisions rationally and equip themselves with the skills necessary to process variables from all angles
This course is designed for:
About your instructors
About your instructors

Volodymyr Vakhitov

Director of the Behavioral Science Institute and Associate Professor at American University Kyiv.

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.

Nataliia Zaika

Program Manager at Behavioral Science Institute at American University Kyiv

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.

Program structure

  • What is uncertainty. 

  • The noise-signal-history-decision-memory model

Noise and filter

  • The problem: Too much information

  • Effects of accessibility, illusory truth

  • Influence of the new and unusual

  • The effect of context

  • Effect of own experience

Signal and interpretation

  • The problem: understanding the facts on the table

  • Searching for patterns

  • How we simplify the world

  • Do we understand how and what others think

  • How we perceive past failures and setbacks

  • What is memory and how it affects decisions

Quick decisions and history

  • The problem: no time to think

  • The effects of knowledge and overconfidence

  • Concentration on what is near and now

  • Already paid: how to get off the dead horse

  • How words and patterns affect perception

Behavioral Economics During Wartime: Breaking Biases
  • Start: May 11, 2024
  • Cost: $129   $116 
  • Location: AUK campus in Kyiv
  • AUK Certifiacate
Still have questions
Frequently asked questions
What is the language of instruction for this course?

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.

Are there any prerequisites for this course?

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.

How much time will I have to spend learning while taking this course?

This course includes 2 sessions at AUK Campus from 10:00 to 14:00 (with breaks)

How can I pay?

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.

Can my company pay for me?

If your employer agrees to pay for your study, you may inquire about the proforma invoice from our accounting department.

Sign up for our email newsletter
This email is already subscribed!
Thank you for subscribing!