Kursnamn Master’s level: Behavioral Decision-Making Perspective in Business and Public Policy
Kursdatum 13.05.2024 - 31.08.2024
Yrkeshögskolan Laurea-ammattikorkeakoulu
Kursens språk Engelska
Studiepoäng 5 SP

Bransch Business HUB
Lärare Markus Kanerva
För öppna YH studenter Nej
Nivå Högre YH

Frågor relaterade till registreringspraxis
Anmälningstid 01.04.2024 - 30.04.2024

Master’s level: Behavioral Decision-Making Perspective in Business and Public Policy

13.05.2024 - 31.08.2024


In this course you will learn the basics of behavioral economics and how behavioral insights are applied in business and public policy context. You will gain understanding on behavioral biases and heuristics that are apparent in human behavior. Nudges and choice architecture are introduced as a mean to change people’s behavior.

The study unit is divided into orientation and 5 Modules:

  • Module 1: General overview of behavioral insights in business and public policy
  • Module 2: Deeper into behavioral insights
  • Module 3: Ethical perspectives of behavioral interventions
  • Module 4: Behavioral insights into action
  • Module 5: Applying behavioral perspective


This study unit is for Master’s level students.


  • The study unit will be evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5 / fail.
  • Minimum requirement to pass the course is that you complete the Orientation and module 1 by August 11th, 2024.
  • Your grade will be defined based on the number of modules that you have successfully completed. Each module will be evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis.
  • All tasks that are mentioned in the assignment descriptions need to be completed according to the instructions to pass the modules. Assignments are evaluated on a complete / incomplete scale or in points (multiple choice tasks). To pass a multiple choice task (quiz) the student needs to score at minimum 70% of the points.
  • The teacher will complete the grading of the assignments and tasks by Friday August 23rd, 2024. At this stage the teacher might ask you to complement assignments that have not been completed at a sufficient level.
  • You need to complete the requested assignments successfully by September 15th, 2024.

Arbetsformer och schemaläggning

  • The study unit is completed independently following a recommended schedule for returning assignments and completing the whole course by a given deadline. Self-direction is required. The study unit does not include meetings except an online kick-off lecture on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 18.00 -19:00 (EET / Finnish time) in Zoom. No other lectures will be held which enables self-paced learning. You will study in a Canvas learning environment which includes learning material and assignments/tests.
  • The study unit contains planning and executing a small-scale real-life intervention applying behavioral insights, and analysis of an existing development plan from a behavioral perspective. You will also engage in discussions with other students in an online forum by posting conversation starters and commenting other students’ texts about different topics you have studied about. Otherwise, the study unit does not include working in pairs or groups.
  • You will receive individual feedback for some of the assignments from the teacher at the end of the course. During the course the feedback is based on automated assessment, and when applicable, giving out model answers after the assignments have been returned. Peer feedback is also utilized.
  • As a rule, the use of AI is permitted and its utilisation must always be disclosed. Sources must always be referenced, even if the text was produced with the help of an AI. The use of AI must be clearly indicated in a text whenever it is utilised in the production or editing of any texts or images. Remember to also explain how it has been utilised, for example in reading information sources and analysing material.
  • You can reach the instructor at the beginning of the course before mid-June and again after the end of the course. You can reach your fellow students through the Q&A discussion board on Canvas platform and you can also use the Canvas Inbox or email messages.


Main course literature includes the following articles. Additional video materials are given on Canvas platform.

Module 1:

  • Kahneman, D. 2003. A perspective on judgment and choice: mapping bounded rationality. American psychologist, 58(9), 697
  • Thaler, R., Sunstein, C. & Balz, J. 2013. Choice architecture. In Shafir, E. (eds.), The behavioral foundations of public policy (pp. 428–439). Princeton University Press.
  • Fehr-Duda, H. & Fehr, E. 2016. Sustainability: Game human nature. Nature News, 530(7591).
  • Goldstein, D., Johnson, E., Herrmann, A., & Heitmann, M. 2008. Nudge your customers toward better choices. Harvard Business Review, 86(12), 99-105
  • Dholakia, U. M. 2016. Why nudging your customers can backfire. Harvard Business Review
  • Steffel, M., Williams, E. F. & Pogacar, R. 2016 How to Nudge Your Customers Without Pushing Them Away. Harvard Business Review.

Module 2:

  • Dolan, P., Hallsworth, M., Halpern, D., King, D. & Vlaev, I. 2010. MINDSPACE: Influencing behaviour for public policy. Institute of Government, London, UK.
  • Oeberst, A., & Imhoff, R. 2023. Toward Parsimony in Bias Research: A Proposed Common Framework of Belief-Consistent Information Processing for a Set of Biases. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 18(6), 1464-1487.

Module 3:

  • Sunstein, C. R. 2015. Fifty shades of manipulation.
  • Reisch, L. A. & Sunstein, C. R. 2016. Do Europeans like nudges? Judgment and Decision Making, 11(4), 310–325.
  • OECD. 2017. Behavioural Insights and Public Policy: Lessons from Around the World. OECD Publishing, Paris.
  • Benartzi, S., Beshears, J., Milkman, K. L., Sunstein, C. R., Thaler, R. H., Shankar, M., Tucker-Ray, W., Congdon, W. J. & Galing, S. 2017. Should governments invest more in nudging? Psychological Science, 28(8), 1041–1055.

Module 4:

  • Michie, S., Richardson, M., Johnston, M., Abraham, C., Francis, J., Hardeman, W., Eccles, M.P., Cane, J. & Wood, C. E. 2013. The behavior change technique taxonomy (v1) of 93 hierarchically clustered techniques: building an international consensus for the reporting of behavior change interventions. Ann Behav Med. 2013 Aug;46(1):81-95.
  • Carlin, D., Houshmand, K., Rodriguez, S. & Talloen, J. 2023. To create lasting change, companies can draw on behavioral insights. McKinsey & Company.
  • Müller, M. M., Böhm, K. L., & Renz, E. 2023. Pay or nudge employees into change? A theoretical and experimental investigation of the effect of nudging for organizational change. Managerial & Decision Economics, 44(6), 3666–3695.

Module 5:

  • Hallsworth, M. 2023. A manifesto for applying behavioural science. Nature Human Behaviour, Nature, vol. 7(3), pages 310-322, March.

Suggested background reading material:

  • Johnson, E. 2021. The elements of choice: Why the way we decide matters. Riverhead Books.
  • Halpern, D. 2016. Inside the nudge unit: How small changes can make a big difference. Random House.
  • Thaler, R. & Sunstein, C. 2009. Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. Penguin.