FIN 3617 Behavioural Finance

FIN 3617 Behavioural Finance

Course code: 
FIN 3617
Course coordinator: 
Ignacio Garcia de Olalla Lopez
Course name in Norwegian: 
Behavioural Finance
Product category: 
Bachelor of Finance - Programme Courses
2025 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

For a very long time, the field of finance has been dominated by a successful paradigm based on the notions that investors and managers are rational and that the market is efficient. In recent decades, however, anecdotal evidence as well as theoretical and empirical research has shown this paradigm to be insufficient to describe various features of actual financial markets. In this course, we explain financial market phenomena by incorporating institutional, social, cognitive, and emotional biases to the traditional paradigm. This broader perspective is called behavioural finance.

The objective of this course is to give students an understanding of investor and managerial behaviour and its impact on financial market outcomes. The participants should be able to identify most common obstacles to making rational decisions, to debias their own decisions, and to understand the risks and opportunities associated with biased decisions. The course spans all major fields of finance, including household finance, asset pricing, and corporate finance. It also relates to an emerging field of sustainable finance through the social preferences investors may have and how those affect investment decisions. Different topics covered in the course relate to sustainable development goals (SDGs). During the course, how behavioural finance relates to these SDGs will be consistently explored.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

Students will acquire an understanding of the following topics:

  • How do people make investment decisions?
  • How does investor behaviour affect asset prices?
  • How do firms respond to investor behavior?
  • How behavioural finance relates to sustainable development
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • Recognize behavioral biases in decision making
  • Identify implications for asset pricing
  • Understand effects on corporate behaviour
  • Clearly and effectively communicate advice based on the skills and knowledge learned
  • Understand and communicate how behavioural biases can impact (positively or negatively) sustainable development.
General Competence

The student develops a behavioural framework that can be applied across a variety of financial domains.

Course content
  • How does behavioural finance differ from non-behavioural finance?
  • How does behavioural finance help us to understand investor behaviour?
  • What are the implications of investor behaviour for asset prices?
  • How does investor behaviour influence corporate decision-making?
  • How does investor behaviour influence sustainable development goals?
Teaching and learning activities

The course includes a combination of lectures and assignments.

Specific information regarding any aspect of the course or student evaluation will be provided in class. It is the student's responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course page (It's Learning) or in the reading materials.

Students will be expected to actively participate in all in-class discussions (related to assignments, course concepts, applications of behavioural finance in the industry, etc.). 

Spreadsheets (Excel) may be used for certain practical applications and examples. Students should be familiar with their use.

Software tools
Software defined under the section "Teaching and learning activities".
Additional information

As of and including spring 2025, the form of evaluation in this course will change from two to one exam element. The new exam code will be FIN 36174.
Last re-sit exams in the previous exam codes FIN 36172 and FIN 36173 will be offered in autumn 2024 and spring 2025.


Higher Education Entrance Qualification


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Required prerequisite knowledge

SØK 3520 Microeconomics or EXC 3520 Microeconomics and BØK 3423 Finance, or equivalent.

Exam category: 
School Exam
Form of assessment: 
Written School Exam - pen and paper
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Support materials: 
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
3 Hour(s)
Exam code: 
FIN 36174
Grading scale: 
Examination every semester
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
30 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
75 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
40 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
40 Hour(s)
Preparation for the final exam.
Digital resources
15 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.