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The Psychology of Economic Behaviour

Vak 2011-2012

Admission requirements

Master’s students MSc 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

The student:

  • Has specialized knowledge of social psychological theories about behaviour and decision-making in social contexts and organisations.
  • Has 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).
  • Can at basic level make use of theories that are common in social psychology.

Timetable

The Psychology of Economic Behaviour (2011-2012):

Mode of instruction

Seven seminars/lectures and final exam.

Assessment method

Written final exam.

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .

Blackboard

Information on blackboard.leidenuniv.nl

Blackboard will be used to make studymaterial, powerpoint lectures and additional material available.

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.

Registration

Master’s introduction and enrolment day

Make a reservation in your agenda so you will not miss any information that you will need during your master’s programme MSc in Psychology. Please consult the Agenda master meetings

Exam registration

Registration for the (re)exam is not automatic. Students, who haven’t registered, cannot participate in the (re)exam

Contact information

Prof.dr. E. van Dijk
E-mail: dijk@fsw.leidenuniv.nl