Behavioral Economics : The Great Courses: Business & Economics

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Scott Huettel
  • Series: The Great Courses: Business & Economics
  • 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Behavioral economics is the study of decision making, and of the related themes of valuation, exchange, and interpersonal interactions. Using methods from psychology, sociology, neurology, and economics, behavioral economics sheds light one of the most fundamental activities of human life:the decision process. In 24 insightful lectures, you'll learn how behavioral economists look at decision making and explore a set of key principles that offer deep insight into how we evaluate information and integrate different factors to make decisions. Most important, using real-life illustrations and case studies, each lecture offers practical tools, so that you can understand the patterns of decision making, the purposes they serve, and how to use your knowledge to make better and more satisfying decisions.
In grasping the underlying factors in decision making, you'll explore key topics such as decisions regarding probability, time-related decisions, managing risk, high-stakes medical decisions, and group decision making. Professor Huettel illustrates each concept with meaningful examples, analogies, and case studies, relating the material directly to the decisions all of us make as a central part of living. This unique course gives you essential knowledge and insights for one of life's most important skills.

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The Unknown Unknowns

Merriam-Webster defines economics as "a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services." Theories and concepts are dense and often mystifyingly complex - see, for example, Thomas Piketty "Capital in the 21st Century" (2013).

Sometimes economics don't make monetary sense - and that's where Behavioral Economics comes in. Scott Huettel, PhD's "The Great Courses: Behavioral Economics: When Psychology and Economics Collide" (2013) is a series of 24 lectures, about half an hour each, on that fascinating subject. Huettel explains why money really isn't everything, especially when what seems 'rational' about spending doesn't override people's social behaviors. For example, it might be more important to punish a cheater or thief even if it costs the person meting out the punishment more money and time than it would have to walk away - see Lecture 2. As a litigator, I see this in action all the time - and benefit from it, quite frankly - but until I listened to Huettel's lectures, I wasn't sure why it was happening.

Because of Lecture 15, "The Value of Experience" I discovered why something I've thought for a long time was true: it's not the things that you buy but the things that you do that make a difference. A week ago, I was in Florida, traveling with a group and not quite on vacation. The airboats and alligators of "Wild Florida" were close, and, armed with the knowledge that we were going to remember the experience forever - and the psychology of why - I happily talked the group into going. I realized that the class helped me feel more confident about my own economic decisions.

Huettel's course is great listen for fans of Dan Ariely's "Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions" (2008).

The title of the review is from one of the lectures. It turns out that "known unknowns" and "unknown unknowns" make sense in Behavioral Economics, even if they don't for Donald Rumsfeld.

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- Cynthia "Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always.""

Stating the Obvious

This course lists a lot of behavioral ideas we know but don't know we know, in excellent examples and words. Stimulating.
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- Deep Reader "Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-13-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses