March 27, 2009 12:34 PM
My First Course Recommendation
After posting the Money and Behavior story earlier this week, I began thinking about my relationship with Psychology and Economics. I was first "formally" exposed to the subject after reading The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Barry Shwartz. Before picking up this book, I often thought about my behavior in terms of the expectations I took on and how those expectations shaped my subsequent feelings after certain events. The course that really expanded my exposure to and solidified my understanding of what is sometimes called Behavioral Economics was Economics 119 with Professor Botond Koszegi. I definitely recommend this course for anyone who is interested in behavior. A quote from the syllabus:
[Psychology and Economics] is not an easy field to define, but those who sympathize with it tend to share the belief that economists should aspire to making assumptions about humans that are as realistic as possible, and hence that we should develop methods and habits of mind to learn what is psychologically realistic.So if you're looking for an interesting economics course without all the math, definitely have a look at this one. Unfortunately, I don't see it being offered in Fall 2009 (I took it in Fall 2008), but keep your eyes peeled. It may inspire a Senior Thesis, Honors, or other Research Project! The course covers: Reference-Dependent Preferences, Choice over Time, Heuristics and Biases, Behavioral Game Theory, and Social Preferences.
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