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: 
2023 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. By taking psychological factors into account, 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 ‘Misbehaving: The making of behavioral economics’ by Richard Thaler. The course engages with current topics within economic psychology, especially the interaction between human psychology and digital tools, as well as sustainability. 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 the importance of psychological factors to understand economic behavior
  • Understand how different theoretical perspectives on economic behavior leads to different conclusions about how people make economic decisions
  • Understand the relevance of economic psychology to understand human behavior in a digital world, and decisions related to sustainability
  • 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 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. The course also uses contemporary articles to show how economic psychology can help to understand human-computer interaction, and decisions related to sustainability

Teaching and learning activities

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

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

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

All parts of the assessment must be passed in order to get a grade in the course.

The examination for this course has been changed. Continuous assessment will no longer exist as an examination form from autumn 2023. For questions regarding previous results, please contact InfoHub.

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 specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Disclaimer

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

Required prerequisite knowledge

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Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 22452
Grading scale:
ECTS
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
Examination when next scheduled course
40No1 Semester(s)Group/Individual (1 - 3)
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 22453
Grading scale:
ECTS
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
Examination when next scheduled course
60Yes3 Hour(s)
  • Bilingual dictionary
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:GRA 22452
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:60
Invigilation:Yes
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • Bilingual dictionary
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Comment:.
Exam code:GRA 22453
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
100
Student workload
ActivityDurationComment
Teaching
24 Hour(s)
Examination
3 Hour(s)
Submission(s)
45 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
85 Hour(s)
Includes reading and working with the curriculum, as well as use of additional videos/podcasts with reflection questions.
Feedback activities and counselling
3 Hour(s)
Feedback on term paper
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.