Week 1: Orientation to the Course

Week 1: Orientation to the Course

“Overview current section … Working with BEA at Rotman”
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  • Orientation to the Course > 0.1 Overview > 0.1.1 Welcome and Introduction
  • Orientation to the Course > 0.1 Overview > 0.1.3 Guidelines and Policies
  • Orientation to the Course > 0.2 Working with BEA at Rotman > 0.2.1 Working with BEA at Rotman

Orientation to the Course > 0.1 Overview > 0.1.1 Welcome and Introduction

  • I want to emphasize the importance of the title of this course, in particular the last two words in action.
  • We want us to ask the important question, so what? Now, before I go on and talk about the course itself, let me tell you a little bit about the work that’s happening here at the Rotman School, that supports the course and in fact the cluster of activities surrounding the course.
  • I’m part of a research cluster called Behavioral Economics in Action, and that’s where the course gets its name from.
  • Our work focuses on taking learnings from the behavioral lab, from theory, and applying them to help people make better decisions, one step at a time.
  • You’ll hear a lot about that research and that approach in the rest of this course.
  • In the first module, we’ll cover the basic principles of behavioral economics.
  • We’ll look at why people are irrational, what are some of the principles that underlie that irrationality, and we’ll also talk about some phenomena that had to do with the way in which people think about money and time, and how they manage both those resources.
  • We’ll then talk about methods of behavioral economics.
  • Finally, we’ll end up with applications of behavioral economics to real world situations.
  • You’ll see videos that come in two formats, there are videos like this one, where I’m standing up and lecturing, but there are other videos where I’m actually going to work with the slide deck and go through more intricate examples and more complex information, by following along with the PowerPoint slide.
  • The second set of materials we’ll use, are text materials that you’ll see on HTML. We’ll have two kinds of materials there, there’ll be abridged versions of articles, as well as simple bullet point summaries of some of the lectures that you’ve heard before.
  • What you’ll see at the end of each week, is a video that contains the opinions of four to five academics, policymakers, or business people on a particular debate topic.
  • I worked in sales and advertising for a brief period of time, before moving to the United States, where I got a degree in behavioral sciences at the University of Chicago.
  • Over the past 20 years I have spent in academia, I have worked in four different countries, I’ve taught at multiple levels, but at the end of the day my research interests are captured by the following simple question, why do people do things that we think they should do, and in fact, that they think they should do, but yet they do do.
  • That’s what I want you to take away from this course.

Orientation to the Course > 0.1 Overview > 0.1.3 Guidelines and Policies

  • This is a quick introduction on how to use this tool.
  • Please use it to pin the location where you’re studying from in the world, and give us a little bit of information about yourself.
  • From the website, to add your information, go to the top left corner to the Additions menu item.
  • Under the Additions menu, choose the Add Marker simple tab.
  • It’ll bring a pop-up box where you can add your name and username you feel comfortable sharing; your location- please again choose a location you feel comfortable sharing.
  • Then in your description, give a little bit about yourself.
  • After you’ve entered your information, you can preview to see what it looks like.

Orientation to the Course > 0.2 Working with BEA at Rotman > 0.2.1 Working with BEA at Rotman

  • What we do is we work along with several research managers and graduate students on projects in collaboration with government agencies, with not-for-profit organizations, and with private businesses.
  • We love to work on projects where the client that we’re working with, where the partner that we’re working with actually learns a little bit about how to improve their own processes, and about how to make their operations more efficient while allowing us to learn a little bit about the field of behavioural economics.
  • Those ideas could involve doing research projects, they could involve working on outreach events, they could involve speaking assignments, as well as, in general, working on other academic areas of interest in the field of behavioural economics.
  • We’d love to be able to hear from you and potentially work with some of you as collaborators.

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