NIFK13005U Biases, Motivations and Persuasion in Decision Making
Over the last 30 years, psychologists and economists have gained a deeper understanding of what motivates people, how they process information, and what non-economic features of the choice environment influence decisions. This research program has provided insights into how people’s decisions deviate from “optimal” choices as well as the consequences of such deviations.
This course will help you to better understand how humans make judgments and decisions and why they make mistakes. We will review research on human decision making from psychology, political science, organizational behavior and economics. Then, we will study some individual and group decision errors that are particularly important for real world problems and look for easy‐to‐implement solutions (i.e., “nudges”).
The insights acquired in the present course are complements (and not substitute) to the insights learned in the course “Behavioral and Experimental Economics” taught by Toke Fosgaard in bloc 1. Taking both courses is not a requirement.
At the end of this course, students are supposed to become “choice architects” able to identify human biases and design environments that both yield better decision making and achieve behavior that is consistent with overall system goals.Knowledge:
- master the key results in various behavioral sciences that describe and model how people really make choices.
- apply these insights to real situation and propose policy interventions (design institutions, change rules, adopt new framing, etc.).
- identify behavioral regularities and propose "nudges".
- compare effectiveness and efficiency of economic interventions.
- use choice architecture to help nudge people to make better choices.
- evaluate policy and estimate treatment effects.
The exact literature is stated at the course beginning in
Some possible references are the following:
- Bazerman, Max H. and Moore, Don. (2009) Judgment in managerial decision making. 7th Edition (J. Wiley and Sons).
- Cialdini, R. (2008). Influence: Science and Practice. 5th ed. Prentice Hall.
- Sunstein, Cass; Thaler, Richard (2008). Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Yale University Press.
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- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
- Written examination, 2 hours under invigilationThe grading in this course consists of two parts.
Part 1: A 30 minutes presentation and discussion of the groups' course project.
Part 2: a 2 hours written essay exam in one of the topics covered in the course.
Part 1 counts for 40% of the final grade.
Part 2 counts the remaining 60% of the final grade.
- Without aids
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
one internal examiner
- If 10 or fewer register for the reexamination the examination form will be oral.
Criteria for exam assesment
- Project work