This course provides an overview of behavioral economics, an emerging subfield which integrates insights from psychology into economic models of behavior. We'll study ways in which individuals systematically depart from assumptions such as perfect rationality, self interest, time consistency, etc. The course is divided into three sections: (i) non-standard preferences, (ii) non-standard beliefs, and (iii) non-standard decision rules.
The course will question many of the assumptions of the so-called "standard model" of homo economicus, but not the fundamental emphasis on mathematical tools which characterizes modern economics. This course, and behavioral economics more generally, emphasize formal models of individual choice -- similar to those presented in intermediate microeconomics; the goal is to modify standard models so as to increase phycological realism and improve predictive power, not to scrap such models altogether.