A behavioral Economics in action free online course is being offered by the University of Toronto to build on much of the fascinating work in behavioral economics and allows learners to develop a hands-on approach to understanding its methods and more importantly, how it can be harnessed by suitably designing contexts to nudge choice. The University of Toronto is a vibrant and diverse academic community. It includes 80,000 students, 12,000 colleagues holding faculty appointments, 200 librarians, and 6,000 staff members across three distinctive campuses and at many partner sites, including world-renowned hospitals.

There has been a lot written about the fact that human beings do not process information and make decisions in an ideal fashion. The behavioral Economics in action free online course builds on much of the fascinating work in behavioral economics and allows learners to develop a hands-on approach to understanding its methods and more importantly. In three modules, learners will be able to

– Explain and interpret the principles underlying decision-making and compare the nudging approach to other methods of behaviour change
– Learn how to critique, design and interpret the results of experiments; and
– Design nudges and decision-tools to help people make better decisions.

About the Behavioral Economics in Action Free Online CourseBehavioral Economics

Understanding experimental design and interpretation is central to your ability to truly use behavioral economics and will set you apart from people who merely know about the behavioral research. After the first two weeks learning the basic principles, we will devote two weeks to studying experimental design and analysis, and the last two weeks to understanding processes for designing nudges and for helping people make better decisions.

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You will also witness and take part in weekly topical debates on various topics like “does irrationality impact welfare?” or “what strategy is better for improving welfare nudging or education?” If you’ve been fascinated with the buzz surrounding behavioral economics but are not sure how to actually use it, this course is for you.

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Several leading scholars, policymakers, business people, authors and commentators will briefly join our debate and discussion sections. These guest lecturers include Professor Sendhil Mullainathan (Harvard University), Professor John Lynch (University of Colorado), Rory Sutherland (Ogilvy Group), Owain Service (Behavioral Insights Team, UK Cabinet Office), Shankar Vedantam (NPR Columnist and Author – The Hidden Brain), Professors Andrew Ching, Avi Goldfarb, Nina Mazar, and Claire Tsai, Min Zhao (University of Toronto) and many others!

What You Will Learn

– Develop an understanding of the philosophy and the principles underlying the field of behavioral economics
– Understand the differences between choice architecture/nudging and other approaches to behavior change.
– Understand the key elements of an experiment, differentiate between three basic types of experimental designs, and gain insight into ANOVA and regression techniques for analyzing data.
– Use a prescribed process for designing your own nudges, and identify specific resources and tools you will need to execute a nudging strategy.
– Apply some of the learnings and ideas to policy and business.

How to apply:

– Visit the course website
– Create an edX account to SignUp
– Choose “Register Now” to get started.
– EdX offers honour code certificates of achievement, verified certificates of achievement, and XSeries certificates of achievement. Currently, verified certificates are only available in some courses.
– Once the applicant signs up for a course and activates their account, click on the Log In button on the edx.org homepage and type in their email address and edX password.

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This will take them to the dashboard, with access to each of their active courses. (Before a course begins, it will be listed on their dashboard but will not yet have a “view course” option.). You can visit the behavioral Economics in action free online course website for more detailed information.

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