PSYb2950 Behavioral Economics: Psychology Meets Economics

Faculty of Social Studies
Autumn 2020
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 4 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Taught online.
Ing. Bc. Michal Ďuriník, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Ing. Mgr. Jakub Procházka, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Ing. Mgr. Jakub Procházka, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology - Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Ing. Bc. Michal Ďuriník, Ph.D.
Supplier department: Department of Psychology - Faculty of Social Studies
Thu 5. 11. 16:00–19:40 P22, Thu 12. 11. 16:00–19:40 U23, Thu 26. 11. 16:00–19:40 U23, Thu 10. 12. 16:00–19:40 U23, Thu 7. 1. 16:00–19:40 P22, Thu 14. 1. 16:00–19:40 U23
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 40 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 22/40, only registered: 0/40, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/40
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 19 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
Both Economics and Psychology share an interest in people’s decision making and the forces that shape it. This hands-on course brings both fields together and discusses various approaches to investigating the same questions. Topics covered include pro-social preferences (altruism, trust, reciprocity), risk perception, (ir)rationality, cooperation and coordination, fairness and more. Furthermore, the course provides students with grounds to develop their academic writing, presentation skills and ability to express themselves concisely and to the point.
Learning outcomes
Upon completing the course, the student will:
-Be able to discuss different perspectives on the topics discussed in the course;
-Have an understanding of the topics Psychology and Economics share an interest in;
-Be able to explain the difference between experiments in Psychology and Economics and outline proc and cons of each approach;
-Be able to explain how experiments can help design markets and public policy;
-To distinguish a well-designed experimental study from a poorly designed one;
-Have the knowledge and skills to design an economic experiment;
  • Meeting 1 Introductions, expectation management, introduction into building the Psychology-Economics connection. What is Economics and why is it closer to Psychology than commonly believed. Introduction to the experimental method in Economics. What are markets? What is the role of prices?
  • Meeting 2 How rational are we and what does it actually mean? What is rationality? What are preferences? Endowment effect. Time preferences. Procrastination.
  • Meeting 3 What is money and can it buy happiness? Market bubbles, auctions. What about bitcoin? Global financial crisis of 2008 from a psychological and moral perspective.
  • Meeting 4 Humans as social animals. Pro-social preferences: trust, reciprocity, altruism, fairness, equality. Finding solutions to problems through property rights. How institutions help.
  • Meeting 5 Game theory. Cooperation, coordination, communication. Deception and lying. Sharing common resources. Economist’s take on environmental problems and how to solve them.
  • Meeting 6 Group identity in economics. How do we use all this? Nudging. Opportunity costs. Project-applying final touches.
  • Meeting 7 Q&A, topic of student choice will be discussed if elected in advance. Presentation of 1/2 of the final Projects.
  • Meeting 8 The final Project presentations, wrap-up and feedback sessions.
    required literature
  • KAHNEMAN, Daniel. Thinking, fast and slow. 1st ed. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011. 499 s. ISBN 9780374275631. info
  • ARIELY, Dan. Predictably irrational : the hidden forces that shape our decisions. Revised and expanded edition. London: Harper, 2009. xxxii, 353. ISBN 9780007256532. info
    recommended literature
  • ANGNER, Erik. A Course in Behavioral Economics (2nd Edition). Red Globe Press, 2016. 336 pp. ISBN 978-1-137-51292-5. info
  • BARDSLEY, Nick. Experimental economics : rethinking the rules. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010. viii, 375. ISBN 9780691124797. info
  • THALER, Richard H. and Cass R. SUNSTEIN. Nudge : improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. Revised ed. London: Penguin Books, 2009. x, 305. ISBN 9780141040011. info
  • Advances in behavioral economics. Edited by Colin Camerer - George Loewenstein - Matthew Rabin. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004. xxvi, 740. ISBN 0691116822. info
Teaching methods
lectures, class discussion, group projects, homework, reading, in-class experiments
Assessment methods
Students can miss one class without any explanation. For 2nd and further missed classes explanation (e.g. a doctor's note) needs to be provided or the class can be substituted by an essay assigned by the teacher. Students can collect 100 000 points throughout the semester. To pass, 50 001 or more points need to be collected. How to earn points:
50% of the total points for the Project and its presentation
30% for in-class experiments
20% for preparing and delivering a mini-lecture

To provide a hands-on experience, the class includes experiments and activities incentivized by points. It is strongly recommended to participate in these. If, for any reason, you do not wish to participate, talk to the teacher who will assign you an essay worth 30% of the grade.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
Teacher's information
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2019.
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