EVOLUTIONARY BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS

Have you ever wondered why one cannot resist eating sweets at midnight, why do people fear snakes, or why are our choices heavily influenced by what other people do? Answering these – at first sight silly – questions reveals that what may seem like a ‘bias’ or ‘error,’ can be actually a feature tricking us into maximizing behavior. The course ‘Evolutionary Behavioral Economics’ uses insights from evolutionary biology and neurosciences to provide a critical perspective on theories of human decision making, which have been in last decades dominated by the heuristics and biases research program.

Topics

 

DAY 1
(5 hrs)
Basic Principles of Evolution, Basic Framework for Evolutionary Analysis of Decision-making
DAY 2
(5 hrs)
Role of Culture and Gender on our Decision-making
DAY 3
(5 hrs)
Evolutionary Behavioral Economics and Public Policy
DAY 4
(5 hrs)
How to Run Experiments Online

Lecturers

– Alessandra Cassar
– Shabnam Mousavi
– Alejandro Hortal
– Marcus Antonio Giamattei
– Vojtěch Zíka

Literature

– Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (1996). Are humans good intuitive statisticians after all? Rethinking some conclusions from the literature on judgment under uncertainty. cognition, 58(1), 1-73.
– Dawkins, R. (1988). The Blind Watchmaker. 1986. Harlow Logman.
– Dhami, S. (2016). The foundations of behavioral economic analysis. Oxford University Press.
– Dunbar, R., Barrett, L., & Lycett, J. (2005). Evolutionary psychology: a beginner’s guide. Oneworld Publications.
– Harari, Y. N. (2014). Sapiens: A brief history of humankind. Random House. Chicago

ECTS Requirements

To successfully complete this course and obtain 4 ECTS, students have to:

– submit 4 assignments (1 per day, 12 hrs. of workload in total)
– complete an online final exam (preparation 20 hrs. of workload)
– submit a paper (48 hrs. of workload)