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Behavioral Economics: When Psychology and Economics Collide | [The Great Courses]

Behavioral Economics: When Psychology and Economics Collide

Behavioral economics is the study of decision making, and of the related themes of valuation, exchange, and interpersonal interactions. Using methods from psychology, sociology, neurology, and economics, behavioral economics sheds light one of the most fundamental activities of human life: the decision process. In 24 insightful lectures, you'll learn how behavioral economists look at decision making and explore a set of key principles that offer deep insight into how we evaluate information and integrate different factors to make decisions.
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Publisher's Summary

Behavioral economics is the study of decision making, and of the related themes of valuation, exchange, and interpersonal interactions. Using methods from psychology, sociology, neurology, and economics, behavioral economics sheds light one of the most fundamental activities of human life:the decision process. In 24 insightful lectures, you'll learn how behavioral economists look at decision making and explore a set of key principles that offer deep insight into how we evaluate information and integrate different factors to make decisions. Most important, using real-life illustrations and case studies, each lecture offers practical tools, so that you can understand the patterns of decision making, the purposes they serve, and how to use your knowledge to make better and more satisfying decisions.

In grasping the underlying factors in decision making, you'll explore key topics such as decisions regarding probability, time-related decisions, managing risk, high-stakes medical decisions, and group decision making. Professor Huettel illustrates each concept with meaningful examples, analogies, and case studies, relating the material directly to the decisions all of us make as a central part of living. This unique course gives you essential knowledge and insights for one of life's most important skills.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2014 The Great Courses (P)2014 The Teaching Company, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (208 )
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4.2 (167 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Saud 01-12-14
    Saud 01-12-14

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    836
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    344
    277
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    69
    71
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stating the Obvious"

    This course lists a lot of behavioral ideas we know but don't know we know, in excellent examples and words. Stimulating.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pedro M Porto, Portugal 09-23-14
    Pedro M Porto, Portugal 09-23-14

    Audiobook enthusiast.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Clear and effective"

    Great course! Clear, well structured, most useful.
    The best way to teach is to stimulate the other own thought!
    Glad I got this book. Only regret that it wasn't earlier...
    Thanks Professor Huettel!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Fairfield, CT, United States 04-07-15
    David Fairfield, CT, United States 04-07-15 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting and practical"

    Some great examples that are very practical in real life. I learned a lot and this is a really interesting course. It was very easy to listen to, and filled with interesting facts and stories that helped make the listening that much better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Phillips Alabama 08-24-14
    J. Phillips Alabama 08-24-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love the topic"
    Would you listen to Behavioral Economics again? Why?

    Would for sure- the topic is very interesting to me (intersection of economics and psychology).


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It'd be tough


    Any additional comments?

    Its a good lecture- give it a go if you have any interest in the topic

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Lawrence United States 12-11-14
    Laura Lawrence United States 12-11-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "brilliant, perhaps, but definitely boring"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I loved the concepts and empirical work. I simply couldn't listen for more than about 15-20 minutes. Since I was driving I couldn't risk falling asleep.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Behavioral Economics?

    The number of times he was able to illustrate that pop psychological notions about human behavior often couldn't be farther from the facts of the matter.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    His voice is essentially monotone, but he has a bit too much of self-importance (perhaps?). the fake clapping at the end of a chapter was over the top (and led me to the sense of his excessive self-importance--really, who needs fake clapping in a studio recording???).


    Did Behavioral Economics inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, question assumtions about motives and motivations.


    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    manaf 01-16-15
    manaf 01-16-15 Member Since 2014

    I am a plastic surgeon by profession A father by heart A trader by choice A teacher by passion A child by curiosity

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    "under dillvers"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Scott Huettel?

    it started strong and promising but fizzled at the end , it jumped between subjects rather than be sequential


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    disapointed


    Did Professor Scott Huettel do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    not applicable


    Do you think Behavioral Economics needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    no


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kameir San Diego 11-18-14
    kameir San Diego 11-18-14 Member Since 2015

    Kameir

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fundamental Errors Taint Overall Good Observations"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Professor Huettel is comitting the fundemental error of using the label 'money' as a motivator. Of course money is always just a placeholder for what the recipient thinks he might be able to spend this money own or even give it away - hence the underlying motivation could be greed but could also be altruism - i.e. when the recipient passes on the money to another party without expecting a return (charity). So, referring to money for motivation is actually not saying anything at all.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    No true insights.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Professor Scott Huettel’s performances?

    Not likely.


    Could you see Behavioral Economics being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Not sure .. maybe Steven Levitt.


    Any additional comments?

    Professor Huettel should listen to Steven Novella's 'Your Deceptive Mind'.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
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  • Cleon W.
    Cambridge
    12/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Covers some very interesting topics."
    Any additional comments?

    I think it is fair to say that every lecture in the series contained some interesting elements, though the last few were by far the most interesting in my opinion.
    I learned a lot and the course has left me with a lot to think about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    4/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quite interesting, but perhaps drawn out too much"

    This course covers the (relatively modern) field of behavioural economics, which is the study of how psychological and neurological effects impact on decision making. Starting with Prospect Theory, the first major theory of behavioural economics, Prof. Huettel outlines a wealth of experiments that display a huge range of counter intuitive effects that the brain has on decision making.

    To get the most out of this course I would suggest people have at least a basic knowledge of classical economics, e.g. the great courses intro to economics, since this gives a much better context for why this field is so important and can have such wide reaching implications.

    Many aspects of decision making biases are discussed, for example, how framing a question differently can completely change how we react to it. At each stage the professor suggests ways in which understanding these biases can actually lead you to make better decisions in your life, and I will certainly be using some of the tricks he suggests. For example, paying someone to do something that they used to do for free can undermine their incentive for doing it, e.g. paying for blood donations tends to decrease numbers of donated pints!

    Whilst the course was very interesting, and I will be following up with one of the courses on psychology, I think the length is unnecessarily long. Sometimes the points made didn't need nearly as much time as they did, and it felt like a chore to get through a couple of the lectures.

    Overall, worth a listen, some very interesting facts and experiments, but only worth it if you are particularly interested, and have some background knowledge already.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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