PB403 Psychology of Economic Life is organised along two themes: understanding economic behaviour and shaping economic behaviour.
Firstly, understanding economic behaviour. In this theme, you will be exposed to key thinkers, theories and recent research in social sciences and economic psychology. PB403 thus presents a social psychological approach different and complementary to the rational choice models which depict economic actors as information processors whose behaviour can be understood independently of specific contexts. Beyond Homo Economicus, we consider Homo Sapiens with its rationality, but also with its embodied, emotional, social and cultural dimensions as well as the cognitive characteristics and drives inherited from evolutionary psychology.
Secondly, shaping economic behaviour. In this theme, you are introduced to new approaches in behavioural design. Framed by our distinctive approach to economic psychology, PB403 acknowledges the importance of context and socio-technical constraints but uses psychology to explain social-psychological aspects of economic phenomena. Our framework pays particular attention to the social environments that enable and support positive behaviour change in settings characterized by cultural diversity, a need for sustainability and alternative models to growth.
Putting these two themes together, PB403 integrates theory with practical application. The aspiration of the MSc programme Psychology of Economic Life is to apply the knowledge learned towards making the world a better place. As such, PB403 seeks to apply realistic psychological knowledge to enable more sustainable business models, products, and organisations. It intends to explore new pathways for the economic life of society, beyond the status quo.