The Psychology of Choice - Experimental Theory and Methods
Explanations and predictions of people’s choices, in everyday life as well as in the social sciences, are often founded on the assumption that humans are rational. The definition of rationality has been much debated, but there is general consensus that rational choices should satisfy some elementary requirements of consistency and coherence in the assessment of values.
In this course we will study decision problems in which people systematically violate these requirements of consistency and coherency, and we trace the violations to the psychological principles that govern the perception of decision problems and the evaluation of options. The course will provide an overview of the field by focusing on the most central topics and experiments.
Some of the topics we will focus on during the course are:
- Reference dependence, framing and loss aversion
- Anchoring and heuristics
- Choice architecture
After completing the course the student is expected to be able to:
- Identify the interdisciplinary field of `the psychology of choice´.
- Investigate choice behavior by means of empirically testable hypotheses and experiments.
- Discuss how psychologists and economists together have shaped our understanding of the microfoundations of human choice behavior.
- Define how seminar works in the topics covered during the course.
- Critically assess and relate the diverse ideas, concepts and theories developed in the topics covered during the course.
- Evaluate experiments used in the topics covered during the course.
- Debate and present often complex topics in a precise, simple
and clear way.
- Apply the empirical and theoretical knowledge and the skills obtained in this course to understand real-world behavioral phenomena that lie beyond the scope of this course.
- Initiate discussions and solve decision problems that lie outside the scope of the course.
In the first week of the course there will be an opening lecture
during which also all organizational issues are discussed. In all
the following weeks there will be lectures on different topics in
the intersection of psychology and economics.
Restrictions due to Coronavirus:
The teaching in this course may be changed to be taught either fully or partly online due to COVID-19. For further information, please see the course room on Absalon (for enrolled students).
A list of required readings will be given to the students in the beginning of the course
Sound knowledge of statistical methods and tests from similar
courses as "Probability Theory and Statistics" and
"Econometrics I" at the Bachelor of Economics, University
Sound knowledge of statistical methods and tests from similar courses as "Statistik 1" and "Statistik 2" from the Bachelor of Psychologi, University of Copenhagen.
2 hours lectures 1 to 2 times a week from week 36 to 50 (except week 42).
The overall schema for the Master can be seen at KUnet:
MSc in Economics => "Courses and teaching" => "Planning and overview" => "Your timetable"
Timetable and venue:
To see the time and location of lectures please press the link under "Timetable"/"Se skema" at the right side of this page. E means Autumn.
You can find the similar information partly in English at
-Select Department: “2200-Økonomisk Institut” (and wait for respond)
-Select Module:: “2200-E21; [Name of course]”
-Select Report Type: “List – Weekdays”
-Select Period: “Efterår/Autumn”
Press: “ View Timetable
Please be aware:
- It is the students´s own responsibility to continuously update themselves about their studies, their teaching, their schedule, their exams etc. through the curriculum of the study programmes, the study pages at KUnet, student messages, the course descriptions, the Digital Exam portal, Absalon, the personal schema at KUnet and myUCPH app etc.
Foreign students and guests: Information about admission requirements, application, tuition fee, registration at Study Economics.
Please read the curriculum before enrolment.
Gæste- og enkelfagsstuderende: Tilmelding via Uddannelse i Økonomi.
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
Written examination, 3 hours under invigilationas an ITX-exam in the exam venues of the university.
The exam assignment is in English and must be answered in English.
Changes due to Coronavirus:
In the event that COVID-19 restrictions may affect the conduction of the ITX-exams, the written exam and the re-sit exam will be changed to take-home exam with all aids. If done so, the changes will be announced in study messages at KUnet, in the Digital Exam portal and here in the Exam section of the course description.
The take-home exams will still be individual and it is not allowed to communicate with any one about the exam assignment nor the solution at all. It is also prohibited to distribute data and other information at all. If this or alike actions happens, it will be regarded as cheating and plagiarism.
No aids allowed at the written ITX-exams.
If the ITX-exams are changed to take-home exams due to COVID-19, the written take-home exams will be with all aids.
For further information about allowed aids for the re-examination, please go to the section "Re-exam".
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
at the written exams. The written ITX-exam may be chosen for external assessment by random sample.
Criteria for exam assessment
Students are assessed on the extent to which they master the learning outcome for the course.
In order to obtain the top grade "12", the student must with no or only a few minor weaknesses be able to demonstrate an excellent performance displaying a high level of command of all aspects of the relevant material and can make use of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.
In order to obtain the passing grade “02”, the student must in a satisfactory way be able to demonstrate a minimal acceptable level of the knowledge, skills and competencies listed in the learning outcomes.
Single subject courses (day)
- Course number
- 7,5 ECTS
- Programme level
- Full Degree Master
Go to 'Signup' for
information about registration and enrollment
Information about admission and tuition fee: Master and Exchange Programme, credit students and guest students (Open University)
and venue for teaching:
Go to 'Remarks'.
For exam and re-sits: Go to 'Exam'.
- Department of Economics, Study Council
- Department of Economics
- Faculty of Social Sciences
- Carsten Søren Nielsen (15-506e7f8081727b3b5b76727980727b4d72707c7b3b78823b7178)
- Alexander Christopher Sebald (16-6f7a73866f7c7273803c8173706f7a724e73717d7c3c79833c7279)
See 'Course Coordinators'
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