PB450E      Half Unit
Behavioural Science and Policy

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Paul Dolan QUE.3.08


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?; What are preferences to economists and psychologists?; Dual-process models of behaviour and the role of the unconscious mind; Dual processing into policy using the MINDSPACE checklist; the role of emotions in decision making; compensating behaviours; breaking and creating habits. 


14 hours of lectures and 8 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

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

Indicative reading

Dolan, P. (2014). Happiness by design: finding pleasure and purpose in everyday life. London: Allen Lane. 

Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking Fast and Slow. London: Penguin Books

Gneezy U, Meier S, Rey-Beil P (2011), “When and Why Incentives (Don’t) Work to Modify Behavior”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 25(4):191-210.

DellaVigna, S. (2007). "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field". NBER Working Paper No. 13420. 

Dolan, P., Hallsworth, M., Halpern, D., King, D., Metcalfe, R., Vlaev, I. (2012). "Influencing Behaviour: The mindspace way". Journal of Economic Psychology, 33 (1): 264-277. 

Dolan, P., Galizzi, M. (2015). "Like ripples on a pond: Behavioural spillovers and their implications for research and policy". Journal of Economic Psychology, 47: 1-16. 



Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: Psychological and Behavioural Science

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

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