The Psychology of Economic Behaviour

Course description The Psychology of Economic Behaviour
Year: 2017-2018
Catalog number: 6464EL15
Teacher(s):
  • Prof.dr. E. van Dijk
Language: English
Blackboard: Yes
EC: 5.0
Level: 500
Period: Semester 2, Block III
Hours of study: 20:00 hrs
  • Yes Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • Yes Exchange
  • Yes Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • No Honours Class

Entry requirements

Only open to Master’s students Psychology.

Description

Economic behaviour is essentially social behaviour. Behaviours like gambling, saving, bargaining, consumption all refer to social contexts. As a consequence, social psychology has much to offer to economics. In this course we will focus on what social psychology can contribute to the understanding of such economic behaviours. We will seek answers to questions like:

  • How does personality come into play?
  • How rational is economic behaviour?
  • What about emotions?
  • Are we only motivated by self-interest?
  • How do we deal with uncertainty?

In the search for answers we will concentrate on how the assumptions of economic theory compare to the most recent insights in social psychology. For this purpose we will read and discuss up-to-date articles in economic and psychological journal articles and book chapters as well as classic studies that had a major impact on the development of psychological and economic theory. Students will prepare the meetings by reading the literature, and actively participate in the discussions. The course will end with a final exam.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, students:

  • Have specialised knowledge of social psychological theories about behaviour and decision-making in social contexts and organisations;
  • Have thorough knowledge of subjects (within and beyond the specialization) that may be of importance for the use of these theories (i.e., social psychology, behavioural economics); and
  • Can at basic level make use of theories that are common in social psychology.

Timetable

For the timetables of your lectures, work groups and exams, please select your study programme in:
Psychology timetables

Lectures
Exams (coming soon)

Registration

Course

Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions.
Master’s course registration

Exchange/Study abroad

For admission requirements contact your exchange coordinator

Examination

Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date. Students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.
Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

7 2-hour seminars/lectures and final 3-hour exam.

Assessment method

Written final exam.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud.

Reading list

Readings available via ‘Blackboard’. Exemplary literature includes:

  • Iyengar, S, & Lepper, M. (2000). When choice is demotivating: Can one desire too much of a good thing? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(6), 995-1006.
  • Soman, D, & Gourville, J. (2001). Transaction decoupling: How price bundling affects the decision to consume. Journal of Marketing Research, 38(1), 30-44.
  • Bastardi, A, & Shafir, E. (1998). On the pursuit and misuse of useless information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(1), 19-32.
  • Gilbert, D, Morewedge, C, Risen, J, et al. (2004). Looking forward to looking backward – The misprediction of regret. Psychological science, 15(5), 346-350.
  • Miller, D. (1999). The norm of self-interest. American Psychologist, 54(12), 1053-1060.
  • Shaffer, V, & Arkes, H. (2009). Preference reversals in evaluations of cash versus non-cash incentives. Journal of Economic Psychology, 30(6), 859-872.

Contact information

Prof.dr. Eric van Dijk
dijk@fsw.leidenuniv.nl

Languages