GRA 2245 Economic Psychology: Selected Topics

GRA 2245 Economic Psychology: Selected Topics

Course code: 
GRA 2245
Department: 
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Credits: 
6
Course coordinator: 
Erik Løhre
Course name in Norwegian: 
Economic Psychology: Selected Topics
Product category: 
Master
Portfolio: 
MSc in Leadership and Organisational Psychology
Semester: 
2021 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Level of study: 
Master
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

Economic decisions are ubiquitous and interwoven into our everyday life and especially in the context of work. We can define an economic decision as any decision related to the expenditure and saving of time, money, and effort. In traditional economics it is assumed that people’s actions are fueled only by self-interest, that people make rational decisions which maximize their utility, and that context is hardly relevant. This economic thinking has affected organizational theory and research for decades.

However, research within economic psychology and behavioral economics paints a different picture. A large number of findings illustrates departures from the standard economic model, and together, these “anomalies” indicate that people are not best described as “homo economicus”. People give greater weight to losses than to gains, struggle with self-control, and care about fairness, not only about the economically rational choice. Economic psychology aims to describe, predict, and explain the actual economic behavior of individuals, and groups.

In this course we learn about the main topics and engage with central discussions in the field, following the outline from ‘Misbehaving: The making of behavioral economics’ by Richard Thaler. In addition to the book, a collection of articles will be provided before the semester start.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

By the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • Describe and give a brief overview of the field of economic psychology/behavioral economics.
  • Understand how different theoretical perspectives on economic behavior leads to different conclusions about how people make economic decisions
  • Critically assess the impact of economic psychology/behavioral economics on the traditional approach to economics
  • Critically assess the impact of economic psychology on real world economic decision making

Further learning goals will be specified in the class.

Learning outcomes - Skills
  • Utilize the research findings from economic psychology to improve decision making at work.
  • Improve the ability to critically evaluate research findings within economic psychology
General Competence
  • Knowledge of topics like mental accounting, self-control, fairness, anomalies, and nudging
  • To be able to critically reflect on economic decisions and the role of psychological factors in such decisions
Course content

The course follows the outline of the book “Misbehaving” by Richard Thaler. From an introduction of the general field of economic psychology/behavioral economics, the course continues with sessions covering mental accounting, self-control, fairness perception, finance, and nudging.

Teaching and learning activities

The course is structured as a combination of lectures, discussions, student presentations and compulsory in-class activities.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded by using points on a scale from 0-100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades when the course starts.

At resit, all exam components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course.

Qualifications

All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Covid-19 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.

Teaching 

Information about what is taught on campus and other digital forms will be presented with the lecture plan before the start of the course each semester.

Required prerequisite knowledge

GRA 2204 Judgement and Decision Making in Organizations or GRA 2205 Organisational Behaviour or equivalent

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA22451
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
40No1 Semester(s)Group/Individual (1 - 3)
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA22451
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
60Yes3 Hour(s)
  • No support materials
Individual .
Exams:
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:40
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group/Individual (1-3)
Support materials:
Duration:1 Semester(s)
Comment:
Exam code:GRA22451
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:60
Invigilation:Yes
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • No support materials
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Comment:.
Exam code:GRA22451
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
ECTS
Total weight: 
100
Student workload
ActivityDurationComment
Teaching
36 Hour(s)
Examination
3 Hour(s)
Submission(s)
45 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
76 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 
160

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.