SA4M2E      Half Unit
Behavioural Science and Policy

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Paul Dolan OLD.2.38


This course is compulsory on the Executive MSc in Behavioural Science. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course aims to introduce students to the main concepts and tools of the growing fields of behavioural science. The course covers the following topics: What is behavioural science?; Choices under risk and uncertainty; Intertemporal decisions; Social preferences; Distributional preferences; The role of emotions in decision making; Compensating behaviours; Dual-process models of behaviour and the role of the unconscious mind; Dual processing into policy.


17 hours and 30 minutes of lectures and 5 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the MT.

Indicative reading

Camerer, C.F., and Loewenstein, G. (2004). Behavioral economics: past, present, future. In Camerer, C.F. and Loewenstein, G. (eds.), Advances in behavioral economics, pp. 374-392. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Weber, E.U., and Johnson, E.J. (2009). Mindful judgment and decision making. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 53-85.

Rabin, M. (1998). Psychology and Economics. Journal of Economic Literature, 36, 11-46.

Camerer, C.F. (1995). Individual decision making. In Kagel, J.H. and Roth, A.E. (eds.), The handbook of experimental economics, pp. 587-703. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Loewenstein, G., Weber, E.U., Hsee, C.K., and Welch, N. (2001). Risk as feelings. Psychological Bulletin, 127, 267-286.

Thaler, R. and Sunstein, C. (2003) Libertarian paternalism, American Economic Review, 93, 2, 175-179.


Take home exam (100%) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills