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200110 SE Advanced Seminar: Work, Economy, and Society (2018W)

From heuristics to nudges with a practical mindset.

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 20 - Psychologie
Continuous assessment of course work

Vertiefungsseminare können nur fürs Pflichtmodul B verwendet werden! Eine Verwendung fürs Modul A4 Freie Fächer ist nicht möglich.



max. 20 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 15.10. 16:45 - 20:00 Hörsaal E Psychologie, Liebiggasse 5 1. Stock
Monday 12.11. 16:45 - 20:00 Hörsaal E Psychologie, Liebiggasse 5 1. Stock
Tuesday 13.11. 16:45 - 20:00 Hörsaal D Psychologie, NIG 6.Stock A0624
Wednesday 14.11. 16:45 - 20:00 Hörsaal C Psychologie, NIG 6.Stock A0618
Monday 03.12. 16:45 - 20:00 Seminarraum Psychologie NIG 6.OG A0621A
Tuesday 04.12. 16:45 - 20:00 Seminarraum Psychologie NIG 6.OG A0621A
Wednesday 05.12. 16:45 - 20:00 Seminarraum Psychologie NIG 6.OG A0621A


Aims, contents and method of the course

This course is offered in English. Its goal is to improve your understanding of basic concepts and mechanisms in economic psychology and psychological economics.
The course is very practically oriented. The main goal is to connect concepts to everyday behaviors and experiences so, we get a deeper grasp on what these concepts describe and how they can be used to analyze behavior.
You will read short papers for every course (i.e., reading them in advance) and we will come up with practical applications of concepts learned from these papers.
The following topics will be discussed in-depth:
1. How psychology informs economics
2. Heuristics, biases and framing
3. Endowment effect
4. Ambiguity
5. Affect forecasting
6. Asymmetric paternalism, Choice architecture

Assessment and permitted materials

- presence
- grade for group presentation
- at the beginning of every seminar, you will be taking a mini-test (three-four brief questions, 10 minutes and you can choose which 3-4 you want to answer from a pool of 20 questions) involving questions about the papers that are scheduled to be discussed on the particular occasion. This will not be hard (don't be scared :), like I said you will be able to cherry pick the questions you want to answer) but assures that you have read the to-be-discussed papers. Teaching is much more productive if we all have read the material we are discussing :). Performance on these mini-tests will be counted towards your final grade.
- participation in the discussions

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

- presence
- group presentation
- completed mini-tests

Examination topics

There will be no final exam. Instead, I will grade you according to the aforementioned criteria. I am open for discussion and revisions when deciding your grades.

Reading list

1. How psychology informs economics:
Camerer, C. (1999). Behavioral economics: Reunifying psychology and economics. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, 96, 10575-10577.
Camerer, C. & Loewenstein, G. (2011). "Behavioral Economics: Past, Present, Future." In: Camerer, C., Loewenstein, G. & Rabin, M. (eds.), Advances in Behavioral Economics. 3-51.
Kahneman, D. (2003) "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics." American Economic Review, 93(5), 1449-1475.

2. Heuristics, biases and framing
Tversky, A., and D. Kahneman. (1974). Judgement Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. Science, 185, 1124-1131.
Tversky, A., and D. Kahneman. (1981). The Framing of Decisions and The Psychology of Choice. Science, 211, 453-458.
Heath, C., & Soll, J. B. (1996). Mental budgeting and consumer decisions. Journal of Consumer Research, 23(1), 40-52.

3. Endowment Effect:
Kahneman, D., Knetsch, J. L., & Thaler, R. H. (1991). Anomalies: The endowment effect, loss aversion, and status quo bias. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5(1), 193-206.
Carmon, Z., & Ariely, D. (2000). Focusing on the forgone: How value can appear so different to buyers and sellers. Journal of Consumer Research, 27(3), 360-370.
Brenner, L., Rottenstreich, Y., Sood, S., & Bilgin, B. (2007). On the psychology of loss aversion: Possession, valence, and reversals of the endowment effect. Journal of Consumer Research, 34(3), 369-376.

4. Ambiguity and Ambiguity aversion:
Fox, C. R., & Tversky, A. (1995). Ambiguity aversion and comparative ignorance. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 110(3), 585-603.
Fox, C. R., & Weber, M. (2002). Ambiguity aversion, comparative ignorance, and decision context. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 88(1), 476-498.
Pulford, B. D. (2009). Short article: Is luck on my side? Optimism, pessimism, and ambiguity aversion. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62(6), 1079-1087.
Van Dijk, E., & Zeelenberg, M. (2003). The discounting of ambiguous information in economic decision making. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 16(5), 341-352.

5. Affective forecasting:
Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2005). Affective forecasting: Knowing what to want. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(3), 131-134.
Daniel T. Gilbert, Michael J. Gill, Timothy D. Wilson (2002). The Future Is Now: Temporal Correction in Affective Forecasting. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 88(1), 430-444.
Deborah A. Kermer, Erin Driver-Linn, Timothy D. Wilson, Daniel T. Gilbert Loss Aversion Is an Affective Forecasting Error. Psychological Science 17(8), 649 – 653.

6. Asymmetric paternalism and Choice architecture:
Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, C. R. (2003). Libertarian paternalism. American Economic Review, 93(2), 175-179.
Johnson, E. J., & Goldstein, D. (2003). Do defaults save lives?. Science, 302(5649), 1338.
Thaler, R. H., Sunstein, C. R., & Balz, J. P. (2014). Choice architecture. Find here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2536504
Loewenstein, G., & Chater, N. (2017). Putting nudges in perspective. Behavioural Public Policy, 1(1), 26-53.
Sunstein, C. R. (2017). Misconceptions About Nudges. Find here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3033101

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:37