Universität Wien

040319 VO Economic Psychology (2021W)


4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 4 - Wirtschaftswissenschaften


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: English

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Attention: Please note that the final exam (25 January) will be held digitally due to the significant rise in Covid cases. There will be other exam dates as well during the spring of 2022.

Tuesday 05.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Tuesday 12.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Tuesday 19.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Tuesday 09.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Tuesday 16.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Tuesday 23.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Tuesday 30.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Tuesday 07.12. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Tuesday 14.12. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Tuesday 11.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Tuesday 18.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Tuesday 25.01. 09:45 - 11:15 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

This lecture gives an introduction to economic psychology. In 2021W, the course will go online. The class will be held online (via Moodle/Zoom) and it will be also recorded. This way, if you miss a class, you can listen to it later. The night before (the latest) I will post the slides for the forthcoming class. You always post comments, questions, and answers (in fact, you are encouraged to do so). Should you need more elaboration/discussion on a question, we can make in-person meetings or skype calls. We cover:
1. The development of economic thought with respect to psychology: Difference between economic psychology and behavioral economics. In what aspect psychology informs economics, historical milestones in the development of economics with respect to behavioral/psychological insights.
2. How preferences and values are constructed: Psychological approaches advancing the idea that preferences are constructed on the spot and are susceptible to context, circumstances that give fertile ground for constructed preferences, regularities of constructed preferences, decoy and compromise effects, coherent arbitrariness.
3. The decision under uncertainty and ambiguity aversion: Prospect theory, Ellsberg-paradox, and their consequences in judgment and decision-making.
4. Choice over time: Challenges of standard discounted utility and their remedies. Hyperbolic discounting, present-biased behavior. Dynamic inconsistency. Self-control.
5. (Mis)predicting future taste and utility: Regularities in people’s inability to correctly predict their future preferences and tastes and the practical and daily consequences of these behaviors.
6. Choice architecture: An overview of behaviorally informed public policy. Rationales and tools for interventions relying on behavioral regularities. Reviewing some basic success on using nudges to beneficially change behavior.

Assessment and permitted materials

Written exams in the classroom. The first date is 25/01/2022.
There will be other exam dates as well during the spring of 2022.
The exam will have a multiple-choice test part where only one option (not more) is correct. Then, in the second part, you will have to write two short (max one page per essay).
You can have 20 Points total.
You need 11 points to pass.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

You need 11 points to pass.

Examination topics

Course slides

Reading list

I have posted a detailed course description on Moodle including the recommended readings.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:12