Economic Behavior and Psychology

3.00 credit hours

This course will cover the relatively new field of Behavioral Economics, also sometimes called Psychology and Economics. Behavioral economics involves incorporating insights into economics from other disciplines that enrich the understanding of how people make economic decisions. Most of the crossovers come from the field of psychology, but there is also a growing interest in ideas from sociology and neuroscience. We will cover fundamental concepts related to decision-making, such as how people respond to risk, how people make decisions over time, and the ways in which people really aren't as selfish as economists sometimes make it seem. We will also discuss empirical work that shows how these concepts affect how economists think about real-world issues. Examples include examining how to set the default options for 401k programs, understanding why people pay for costly gym memberships they do not use, and looking at whether sellers on Ebay use the best possible ending times for their auctions.

Sample Syllabus

NOTE: Instructors and offerings vary by semester. Visit the Schedule of Classes for the most up-to-date information.