You will study these units in 2018/19 if you apply for the MSc Applied Psychology and Economic Behaviour course.

Contemporary issues in the understanding of decision-making

Aims

This unit spans several topics, taught in an inter-disciplinary format by experts from the Department of Psychology and the Department of Economics. The unit covers issues at the cutting-edge of the field. The unit significant broadens the student's understanding of contemporary issues at the intersection between Psychology and Economics. Students will use an interdisciplinary perspective to develop novel applications, models or knowledge that advance the field.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, the students should be able:

  • to develop an interdisciplinary perspective on how humans make, and how to predict, choices
  • to select and justify the focus, scope and methodology of a study in applied psychology and economic behaviour
  • to carry out independent research in human decision making
  • critically review, employ and engage with the appropriate literature on the study area
  • draw appropriate conclusions from the research study, being aware of its strengths and limitations
  • effectively and efficiently, apply principles of psychology and economics
  • to present independent analysis, argument and/or application of theory in a coherent fashion
  • to develop critical, analytical problem-based learning skills

Content

This unit provides students with the opportunity to further consolidate an interdisciplinary perspective at the intersection between Psychology and Economics. Students will work on two projects which will apply acquired knowledge from semesters 1 and 2 to address a knowledge gap and/or application.

The unit affords each student the opportunity to deeply explore topics from an inter-disciplinary viewpoint. This unit encompasses both a taught component and a series of small-group tutorials in which students will obtain an enriched learning environment benefiting from more focused, small-group, tuition.

Topics include:

  • applications of an interdisciplinary perspective to understanding contemporary knowledge gaps in economic behaviour, for example, attitudes to environment or financial decision-making
  • how to create enriched models designed to predict human decision-making, taking into account psychological variables
  • the application of social psychology to multi-agent economic behaviour
  • applications of neuroscience and psychophysiology to understanding human decision-making (Neuroeconomics)
  • the impact of human psychological development on the decisions we make
  • individual differences in decision-making
  • the impact of emotions on economic decision-making
  • behaviour change as regards economic choice behaviour

Professional skills development

Aims

​This unit provides students the opportunity to develop practical and intellectual skills relevant to a career in this field.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students will:

  • be able to identify the skills required for a variety of careers relevant to the field
  • be able to reflect on their own skills and identify ways in which they can improve these
  • to start to develop thoughts and strategies regarding continuing professional development post-graduation
  • communicate research to both expert and lay audiences
  • demonstrate an understanding of the issues of leadership, effective communication, and productive collaboration with peers in research and professional settings
  • plan, monitor, adjust and document self-learning to improve performance (e.g. continuing professional development; CPD)
  • engage in structured reflection on own performance and skills development
  • discuss examples of ethical dilemmas in business practice, and the role of professional codes of practice

Content

This unit provides students with the opportunity to engage with their own personal development, synthesising knowledge from a variety of sources in order to set out goals and plans for personal development aligned with career aspirations.

Practical, relevant, work-based skills will be focused upon, for example written and oral communication for a variety of audiences, time management and workload planning.

Students will engage in structured reflection on own performance and skills development

Students will also discuss a number of ethical dilemmas and relate them to professional codes of practice.

Psychological and economic perspectives into decision-making

Aims

To provide an interdisciplinary perspective into how the disciplines of Psychology and Economics interact to elucidate the psychological and economic factors that underlie human economic choice behaviour.

To present theoretical models, developed through interdisciplinary research at the intersection between the disciplines of Psychology and Economics, that predict human economic choice behaviour.

To critically evaluate models of human economic choice behaviour from the broader societal context.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the units students will:

  • identify the key areas where theoretical models of judgement and decision-making either have been or potentially can be applied to real-world problems
  • approach new problems and show how insights from psychological and economic science can be brought to bear on them
  • critically evaluate the empirical success of real-world applications of the relevant theoretical models
  • understand how agent-based simulations can provide insight into the emergent behaviour of groups in social and economic contexts​

Content

​This unit will introduce an interdisciplinary perspective elucidating human economic decision-making in a broad range of contexts. Research from both Psychology and Economics will be drawn upon to deliver this perspective. The impact of the synthesis of both perspectives and how this synthesis can be used to create predictive models of human choice behaviour will be covered.

Statistical and mathematical modelling

Aims

To equip students with the skills to interpret common statistical analytical techniques within Psychology.

To equip students with skills to interpret common statistical techniques employed within Economics and modern econometric techniques.

Learning outcomes

​On completion of this unit students will:

  • be able to run, and interpret, statistical tests, using appropriate analytic software
  • learn how to use appropriate computer-based analytical tools to analyse data and to handle data sets
  • demonstrate an understanding of fundamental concepts in mathematics and statistics and be able to apply these concepts to economics
  • demonstrate an understanding of material needed for empirical quantitative analysis
  • demonstrate knowledge of the theory and practice of modern econometrics, particularly applied econometrics
  • demonstrate the development of the habit of rigorous thought, knowledge and understanding to be able to carry out applied econometric research
  • develop the critical insight to appraise econometric results obtained by other researchers

Content

This unit introduces to the student a range of statistical techniques common within the Disciplines of Psychology and Economics. Topics covered will typically include linear algebra, multivariate calculus and constrained optimisation, differential and difference equations, basic probability theory, univariate and multivariate statistics and hypothesis testing.