PhD Course "Introduction to Behavioral Economics"
This Monday, the PhD Course taught by George Loewenstein (Carnegie Mellon), "Introduction to Behavioral Economics" started. Over 50 PhD students attended the four-day long course.
The course provided a PhD-level introduction to Behavioural Economics - the application of insights and research findings from psychology and other disciplines, including neuroscience, to economics. Ideas in behavioural economics are were explored, how they are being formalized in economic analysis, and how they are being tested using a wide range of methods, ranging from lab experiments to field studies.
The course focused on attempts to formulate more realistic accounts of human preferences - e.g., that incorporate utility from ego, or self-image, discussed the role of emotions, people's ability to predict their own future preferences, and explored different aspects of information processing and beliefs. How the standard economic conceptions of how people deal with information and form beliefs were examined, and how new psychological models seeks to provide a more realistic account of these processes.
The topics of the lectures were Constructed Preferences and Coherent Arbitrariness; Evolutionary account and projection bias; Dual System; Soul-searching about Nudging; Conflicts of Interest; Diet; Health Insurance; Privacy and the Desire to Share; Information Gaps and Belief-based Utility; Thanking, Apologizing, Bragging and Blaming; Order Preference and the Drive for Sense-making; and Mental Accounting. 13 students also present their own research projects.