Syllabus in preparation (see below)

Course: NIFK13005U:

Biases, Motivations and Persuasion in Decision Making

Important Information:

Course Responsible
Marco Piovesan, Associate Professor of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Office: Institute of Food and Resource Economics, Rolighedsvej 23 (room G102)
Email: mp@ifro.ku.dk
Office hours: 

Teaching Assistant: 
xxxx, PhD student in Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Office: Institute of Food and Resource Economics
Rolighedsvej 23 (room xxx)
Email: xx@ifro.ku.dk
Office hours: 

Week structure C: 
  • Monday 13-17 Lecture;
  • Wednesday 8-12 Lab Meeting: Invited Speakers or work in groups; 
  • Wednesday 13-17 Lecture.

Room: ?

  • (40%) Individual or Group Presentation (1 point presentation + 1 point discussion): students will present a topic and answer their classmates questions; 
  • (60%) Final Written exam (3 questions: 1 point per question) will assess how well you have learned the material by asking you to apply concepts, think critically, and propose solutions. Exam questions will cover material from readings, lectures, videos, and class discussion.  

Course description and reading assignment

In my course we will discuss a different topic in each week: after reviewing the literature on a specific topic we will discuss all together how these findings can help us to solve real-world problem (e.g. dishonesty, obesity, under-saving, etc.) and how we can help people make better decisions. 

During the course we will study six different topics (listed below) plus the topics that students will choose for their individual or group presentation. The course will begin with an introductory lecture and will conclude with a wrapping-up lecture.

I am still negotiating with several exceptional speakers about their possible visits or a video in which they present their research. More info soon.

Basic books for this course:

  • Bazerman, M. H. & Moore, D. (2008). Judgment in Managerial Decision Making (Seventh Edition). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Ariely, D. (2008) Predictably Irrational, Harper Collins.
  • Thaler, R.H. & Sunstein, C.R. (2008). Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Yale University Press: New Haven, CT.
  • Cialdini, R. (2008). Influence: Science and Practice. 5th ed. Prentice Hall.

All materials listed below are protected by copyright law. You may download material these articles only for your own personal, non-commercial use. You may not otherwise copy, reproduce, re-transmit, distribute, publish, commercially exploit or otherwise transfer any material, nor may you modify or create derivative works of the material. 

Introduction (November 18)

Presentation of the course and syllabus.

Then we will start to talk about Irrationality (using the words of Dan Ariely "things we think we know how things work but we are wrong"). Some examples (visual illusions, limited attention, etc.) will illustrate how our brain works and the biases (predictable and systematic mistakes) connected to the way our brain works. 

Videos and illustrations on Visual illusions (table, colors, gorilla, etc).

Pre-course Recommended Reading:
  • Kahneman, D. (2003). Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics. The American Economic Review, 93(5), 1449-1475.
  • Camerer, C. (1999). Behavioral Economics: Reunifying Psychology and Economics. PNAS, 96, 10575-1057.
  • Kenrick, D. T., Griskevicius, V., Sundie, J. M., Li, N. P., Li, Y. J., & Neuberg, S. L. (2009). Deep Rationality: The Evolutionary Economics of Decision Making. Social Cognition, 27(5), 764-765.
  • Sunstein, C. (2012, in press). The Storrs Lectures: Behavioral Economics and Paternalism. Yale Law Journal.
  • Ashraf, N., Camerer, C. F., & Loewenstein, G (2005). Adam Smith, Behavioral Economist. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19 (3), 131–145.
  • Uchitelle, L. (2001, February 11). Following the Money, But also the Mind. The New York Times.
  • Belluck, P. (2011, January 20). To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test. The New York Times.

Irrationality and Biases (November 20 - 2 lectures)

First Lecture (morning):

In this lecture we will see how simple defaults (opt-in & opt-out) can change individual behavior. We will also see why expensive campaigning can fail. Example of organ donationwhy people do what they do? Why forms change behavior? Another example: generic and branded medications. People of preferences to stick with the status quo or in other words they hate changes and it is not easy to change their behavior. We will also study how complexity can change people decisions and how complexity interact with the effect of defaults. Example: jam study.
For people is hard also to evaluate alternatives. Thus, decisions are influenced by the choice sets. We will see how the asymmetric dominance or decoy effect works in practice. Example: Rome or Paris (or Rome minus coffee), Tom & Jerry and alternative subscriptions at Economist.com. When we do not know what we want, we are guided by the environment. Exercise in class: 3 or 10 reason why you love your boyfriend or girlfriend. Willingness to spend for her Christmas present. Results in second lecture.
We will finally look at the self-herding phenomenon and the role of the first decision in subsequent decisions. Example: Two digits of CPR number and six items. the role of the first decisions.

Second Lecture (afternoon):

Class work:  
  1. Results of the exercise done during the previous lecture
  2. Dentist: how often do you floss? Different scale. Do you want to schedule an appointment? The importance of choice sets and starting points for our mindsets.
  3. Retirement plans (opt-in, complexity, importance of the decisions, etc.). Other ideas?
Summing up: 1) we have many decision biases, 2) our intuitions are often wrong and we do not recognize our faults; 3) we need to rely on empirical evidence from experiments to accurately analyze our behavior. 
Doubt yourself, doubt your intuition! Critically examine the details to determine where improvements can be made. Find new way that can improve decisions.


Required Reading
  • Ariely, D. & Norton, M. I. (2008). How actions create—not just reveal—preferences. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(1), 13-16. 
  • Ariely, D., Loewenstein, G., & Prelec, D. (2005). Tom Sawyer and the construction of value. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 60(1), 1-10.
  • Tetlock, P. E., & Mellers, B. A. (2002). The great rationality debate. Psychological Science, 13(1), 94-99. 
  • Johnson, E., & Goldstein, D. (2003). Do defaults save lives? Science, 302(5649), 1338-1339.
  • Davidai, S., Gilovich, T., & Ross, L.D. (2012). The meaning of default options for potential organ donors. PNAS, 109(38), 15201-15205.
Recommended Reading
  • Rabin, M. (1998). Psychology and Economics. Journal of economic literature, 36(1), 11-46.
  • Brenner, L., Rottenstreich, Y., & Sood, S. (1999). Comparison, Grouping, and Preference. Psychological Science, 10(3), 225-229. 
  • Johansson, P., Hall, L., Sikström, S., & Olsson, A. (2005). Failure to Detect Mismatches Between Intention and Outcome in a Simple Decision Task. Science, 310(5745), 116-119. 
  • Simon, D., Krawczyk, D. C., & Holyoak, K. J. (2004). Construction of Preferences by Constraint Satisfaction. Psychological Science, 15(5), 331-336.
  • Amir, O. & Levav, J. (2008). Choice Construction versus Preference Construction: the Instability of Preferences Learned in Context. Journal of Marketing Research, 45(2), 145-158.
  • Ariely, D., Loewenstein, G.F. & Prelec, D. Coherent Arbitrariness: Durationsensitive Pricing of Hedonic Stimuli Around an Arbitrary Anchor. 
  • Pope, D., & Simonsohn, U. (2011). Round Numbers as Goals: Evidence from Baseball, SAT takers, and the Lab. Psychological Science, 22(1), 71-79. 
  • Gottlieb, D. A., Weiss, T., & Chapman, G. B. (2007). The Format in which Uncertainty Information is Presented Affects Decision Biases. Psychological Science, 18(3), 240-246. 
  • Levav, J., & Fitzsimons, G. J. (2006). When Questions Change Behavior: the Role of Ease of Representation. Psychological Science, 17(3), 207-213.
  • Peder, Z. (2013, February 11). In Pursuit of Taste, en Masse. The New York Times.

Dishonesty (November 25 & 27)

First Lecture (Monday morning):

Dishonesty: a few bad apples or a lot of people that are wishful blind? Corporate scandals, the Enron case. Not only a few bad apples. Big economic impact a lot of people cheating.
What do we know about cheating? The Matrix Test: lots of people cheat a little bit.
The simple model of rational crime (Becker's model). Does cost-benefit analysis work? Are rewards, probability of being caught and punishment the (only) drivers of cheating? No! Other things make us honest or dishonest people. Tension between desire to appear honest and the willingness to benefit from cheating. The fudge factor. How can we shrink this fudge factor? Moral reminders and signature. Example: insurance companies.
The Coin Toss: my experiment with children, no development with age but reminders work
How can we increase this fudge factor? Rationalization. Examples: money, social proof creativity. My experiment in Copenhagen.

Lab meeting (Wednesday morning):

Video: lecture of Nina Mazar? Francesca Gino?

Second Lecture (Wednesday afternoon):

Required Reading
  • Mazar, N., Amir, O., & Ariely, D. (2008). The Dishonesty of Honest People: A Theory of Self-concept Maintenance. Journal of marketing research, 45(6), 633-644.
  • Gino, F., Ayal, S., & Ariely, D. (2009). Contagion and Differentiation in Unethical Behavior: The Effect of One Bad Apple on the Barrel. Psychological Science, 20(3), 393-398.
  • Yang, Y., Raine, A., Lencz, T., Bihrle, S., LaCasse, L., & Colletti, P. (2005). Prefrontal White Matter in Pathological Liars. British Journal of Psychiatry, 187, 320-325.
  • Zhong, C. & Liljenquist, K. (2006). Washing away your sins: Threatened morality and physical cleansing. Science, 313(5792), 1451-1452.
  • Von Hippel, W. & Trivers, R. (2011). The Evolution and Psychology of Selfdeception. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 34(1), 1-56.
  • Shalvi, S., Dana, J., Handgraaf, M., & De Dreu, C. (2011). Justified Ethicality: Observing Desired Counterfactuals Modifies Ethical Perceptions and Behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 115(2), 181-190.
Recommended Reading
  • Gino, F. & Galinsky, A. (2010, May). When Psychological Closeness Creates Distance from one’s Moral Compass. In IACM 23rd Annual Conference Paper. 
  • Vohs, K. D. & Schooler, J. W. (2008). The Value of Believing in Free Will: Encouraging a Belief in Determinism Increases Cheating. Psychological Science, 19(1), 49-54. 
  • Dijksterhuis, A., Preston, J., Wegner, D. M., & Aarts, H. (2008). Effects of Subliminal Priming of Self and God on Self-attribution of Authorship for Events. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44(1), 2-9.
  • Williams, L. E. & Bargh, J. A. (2008). Keeping One's Distance: The Influence of Spatial Distance Cues on Affect and Evaluation. Psychological Science, 19(3),302-308. 
  • Wang, C. S., Galinsky, A. D., & Murnighan, J. K. (2009). Bad Drives Psychological Reactions, but Good Propels Behavior Responses to Honesty and Deception. Psychological Science, 20(5), 634-644. 
  • Mazar, N., & Zhong, C. B. (2010). Do Green Products Make us Better People? Psychological Science, 21(4), 494-498. 
  • Gino, F., Norton, M. I., & Ariely, D. (2010). The Counterfeit Self: The Deceptive Costs of Faking It. Psychological Science, 21(5), 712-720. C
  • Chance, Z., Norton, M. I., Gino, F., & Ariely, D. (2011). Temporal View of the Costs and Benefits of Self-deception. PNAS, 15655-15659.
  • Brooks, D. (2012, June 12). The Moral Diet. The New York Times.
  • Surowiecki, J. (2012, July 30). Bankers Gone Wild. The New Yorker.
  • Pearlstein, J. (2012, June 22). Why we Lie, Go to Prison, and Eat Cake: 10 Questions with Dan Ariely. Wired.

Week 6: Emotion

Labor and Motivation (December 2 & 4)

Invited Speaker: Natalia Montinari on December 4?

Required Reading
  • Anik, L., Aknin, L., Norton, M., & Dunn, E. (2009). Feeling Good about Giving: The Benefits (and Costs) of Self-interested Charitable Behavior. Harvard Business School Marketing Unit Working Paper, (10-012).
  • Norton, M. I., Mochon, D., & Ariely, D. The IKEA Effect: When Labor Leads to Love. Harvard Business School Marketing Unit Working Paper, (11-091).
  • Ariely, D., Gneezy, U., Loewenstein, G., & Mazar, N. (2009). Large Stakes and Big Mistakes. Review of Economic Studies, 76, 451-469.
  • Heyman, J., & Ariely, D. (2004). Effort for Payment: A Tale of Two Markets. Psychological Science, 15(11), 787-793. 
  • Gneezy, U., & Rustichini, A. (2000). A Fine is a Price. The Journal of Legal Studies, 29(1), 1-17.
  • Ariely, D., Kamenica, E. & Prelec, D. (2008). Man’s Search for Meaning: The Case of Legos. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 67, 671-677.
Recommended Reading
  • DeVoe, S. E. & Iyengar, S. S. (2010). Medium of Exchange Matters: What’s Fair for Goods is Unfair for Money. Psychological Science, 21(2), 159-162. 
  • Haisley, E., & Loewenstein, G. (2011). It's not what you get but when you get it: The effect of gift sequence on deposit balances and customer sentiment in a commercial bank. Journal of Marketing Research, 48(1), 103-115. 
  • Ariely, D., Bracha, A., & Meier, S. (2009). Doing Good or Doing Well? Image Motivation and Monetary Incentives in Behaving Prosocially. The American Economic Review, 99(1), 544-555.
  • Woolhandler, S., Ariely, D., & Himmelstein, D. U. (2012). Why Pay for Performance may be Incompatible with Quality Improvement. BMJ: British Medical Journal, 345.
  • Beilock, S. L. & Carr, T. H. (2005). When High-powered People Fail: Working Memory and “Choking Under Pressure” in Math. Psychological Science, 16(2), 101-105.
  • Porter, E. (2005, April 12). Can Shortcuts be a Force for Thrift? The New York Times.
  • Ariely, D. (2008, November 19). What’s the Value of a Big Bonus? The New York Times.

Self-Control and Willpower (December 9 & 11)

Required Reading
  • Ariely, D., & Wertenbroch, K. (2002). Procrastination, Deadlines, and Performance: Self-control by Precommitment. Psychological Science, 13(3), 219-224. 
  • Moffitt, T. E., Arseneault, L., Belsky, D., Dickson, N., Hancox, R. J., Harrington, H., ... & Caspi, A. (2011). A Gradient of Childhood Self-control Predicts Health, Wealth, and Public Safety. PNAS, 108(7), 2693-2698. And commentary on the article.
  • Thaler, R. H. & Benartzi, S. (2004). Save More Tomorrow: Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving. Journal of Political Economy, 112(1), S164-S187. 
  • McClure, S. M., Laibson, D. I., Loewenstein, G., & Cohen, J. D. (2004). Separate Neural Systems Value Immediate and Delayed Monetary Rewards. Science, 306(5695), 503-507. 
  • Trope, Y., & Fishbach, A. (2000). Counteractive Self-control in Overcoming Temptation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(4), 493-506.
  • Keeney, R. L. (2008). Personal Decisions are the Leading Cause of Death. Operations Research, 56(6), 1335-1347. 
Recommended Reading
  • Papies, E. K. (2012). Goal Priming in Dieters: Recent Insights and Applications. Current Obesity Reports, 1, 99-105.
  • Myrseth, K. O.R., Fishbach, A., & Trope, Y. (2009). Counteractive Self-Control. Psychological Science, 20, 159-163. 
  • Patrick, V., Chun, H. E., & MacInnis, D. (2009). Affective Forecasting and Self-control: When Anticipating Pride Wins over Anticipating Shame in a Selfregulation Context. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 19(3). 
  • Erskine, J. A., Georgiou, G. J., & Kvavilashvili, L. (2010). I Suppress, therefore I Smoke: Effects of Thought Suppression on Smoking Behavior. Psychological science, 21(9), 1225-1230. 
  • Wansink, B., Painter, J. E., & North, J. (2005). Bottomless Bowls: Why Visual Cues of Portion Size may Influence Intake. Obesity Research, 13(1), 93-100.
  • Danziger, S. Levav, J. Avnaim-Pesso. L. (2011). Extraneous Factors in Judicial Decisions. PNAS 108(17), 6889-6892.
  • Nordgren, L. F., & Chou, E. Y. (2011). The Push and Pull of Temptation: The Bidirectional Influence of Temptation on Self-control. Psychological Science, 22(11), 1386-1390. 
  • Ackerman, J. M., Goldstein, N. J., Shapiro, J. R., & Bargh, J. A. (2009). You wear me out: The vicarious depletion of self-control. Psychological Science, 20(3), 326-332. 
  • Rachlin, H. (1990). Why do People Gamble and Keep Gambling Despite Heavy Losses? Psychological Science, 1(5), 294-297. 
  • Eigsti, I. M., Zayas, V., Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., Ayduk, O., Dadlani, M. B., ... & Casey, B. J. (2006). Predicting Cognitive Control from Preschool to Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood. Psychological Science, 17(6), 478-484.
  • Kober, H., Mende-Siedlecki, P., Kross, E. F., Weber, J., Mischel, W., Hart, C. L., & Ochsner, K. N. (2010). Prefrontal–striatal Pathway Underlies Cognitive Regulation of Craving. PNAS, 107(33), 14811-14816.
  • Caldwell, C. (2004, March 1). Select All: Can you have too many choices? The New Yorker.
  • Pinker, S. (2011, September 4). The Sugary Secret of Self Control. The New York Times.
  • Bakalar, N. (2012, February 13). Options Play a Role in Healthier Choices. The New York Times.

Fairness and Emotions (December 16, 18 & 23)

Required Reading
  • Slovic, P., Zionts, D., Woods, A., Goodman, R., & Jinks, D. (2011). Psychic Numbing and Mass Atrocity. In Shafir, E. (ed.), The Behavioral Foundations Of Policy (11-56).
  • Gigerenzer, G. (2004). Dread Risk, September 11, and Fatal Traffic Accidents. Psychological Science, 15(4), 286-287. 
  • Gilbert, D. T., Lieberman, M. D., Morewedge, C. K., & Wilson, T. D. (2004). The Peculiar Longevity of Things Not So Bad. Psychological Science, 15(1), 14-19.
  • Loewenstein, G. (2000). Emotions in Economic Theory and Economic Behavior. The American Economic Review, 90(2), 426-432.

Recommended Reading
  • Inbar, Y., Pizarro, D., Gilovich, T. & Ariely, D. (2013). Moral Masochism: On the Connection Between Guilt and Self-Punishment. Emotion, 13(1), 14-18. 
  • Andrade, E. B., & Ariely, D. (2009). The Enduring Impact of Transient Emotions on Decision Making. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 109(1), 1-8. 
  • Gilbert, D. T., Morewedge, C. K., Risen, J. L., & Wilson, T. D. (2004). Looking Forward to Looking Backward: The Misprediction of Regret. Psychological Science, 15(5), 346-350. 
  • Cryder, C. E., Lerner, J. S., Gross, J. J., & Dahl, R. E. (2008). Misery is not Miserly: Sad and Self-focused Individuals Spend More. Psychological Science, 19(6), 525-530. 
  • McGraw, A. P., & Warren, C. (2010). Benign Violations: Making Immoral Behavior Funny. Psychological Science, 21(8), 1141-1149. 
  • Helzer, E. G., & Pizarro, D. A. (2011). Dirty Liberals! Reminders of Physical Cleanliness Influence Moral and Political Attitudes. Psychological Science, 22(4), 517-522. 
  • Xiao, E., Houser, D. & Smith, V. (2005). Emotion Expression in Human Punishment Behavior. PNAS, 102(20), 7398-7401.
  • Cohen, J. D. (2005). The Vulcanization of the Human Brain: A Neural Perspective on Interactions Between Cognition and Emotion. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(4), 3-24.
  • Levav, J., & McGraw, A. P. (2009). Emotional Accounting: How Feelings about Money Influence Consumer Choice. Journal of Marketing Research, 46, 66-80.
  • Niedenthal, P. M. (2007). Embodying Emotion. Science, 316(5827), 1002-1005.
  • Coates, John (2012, June 10). The Biology of Bubble and Crash. The New York Times.

Framing and Nudges (January 7-9)

Lockton, D (2012), 'Cognitive biases, heuristics and decision-making in design for behaviour change', working paper, available at http://danlockton.co.uk


Student presentations (January 14-16) and "wrapping-up" session

Written Exam (January 23?)


To do:

1) inviting external speakers (from iNudgeYou, Lund Univerity, KU, etc) to give an invited lecture, 

2) asking my american coauthors (Mike Norton, Francesca Gino, Nina Mazar, Todd Rogers, etc.) to prepare a short video that presents their research and 

3) trying to collaborate with Danish institutions and firms to give the chance to the students to work on "real" projects. At the end of the course (last week of course) students will be asked to present (in small groups) a specific topic they are interested and studied by themselves -but always under my supervision. 

Possible topics are for instance:

- Reciprocation: People feel indebted/obliged to reciprocate in some way when someone appears to do them a favor, even if they did not ask for the favor in the .first place. For instance, Cialdini (2007, p.22-24) discusses the Hare Krishna fundraising tactic of pressing `gifts' such as a book or a flower into the hands of passersby, with the aim of provoking a reciprocal response such as a donation. Possible design implications: if designing systems which depend on sharing, or will work better if users contribute, design the interface to encourage reciprocation. Give users something up-front, perhaps unexpectedly. Can involve 'guilting' the user, but is best if the user genuinely wants to return a favor. Example: Azureus (now Vuze), a BitTorrent client, encourages users to 'reciprocate' for having downloaded a .file by continuing to seed it.

- Commitment and Consistency: Explained either by cognitive dissonance or self-perception theory, the commitment & consistency bias describes people's nearly obsessive desire to be (and to appear) consistent with what we have already done" (Cialdini, 2007, p.57). This can be exploited via 'foot in the door' techniques which gradually escalate small commitments into much larger behaviors. Possible design implications: design your system to get users to commit in some way to an idea or goal (perhaps a small one initially) as part of a process; they are then more likely to behave in accordance with this to appear or feel 'consistent'. Example: Voluntarily choosing to have a water meter installed can demonstrate some commitment to reducing water, which may persist as a household tries to remain consistent with the commitment.

- Social Proof: nnnn

- Liking: People are more likely to be persuaded or influenced by people that they like. "Despite the entertaining and persuasive salesmanship of the Tupperware demonstrator, the true request to purchase the product does not come from this stranger; it comes from a friend to every woman in the room... [Customers] buy from and for a friend rather than an unknown salesperson(Cialdini, 2007, p.168). Possible design implications: make use of people's friends or .figures and personalities that they like to deliver persuasive messages, or cultivate a product or brand personality which is likeable and friendly in order to influence users to behave in the ways suggested. See also Carnegie (1936/1981) and coverage of a.ective and emotional design in Lockton (2012a).

- Authority and Experts: Using famous experiments such as the Milgram obedience studies, Cialdini discusses the use of 'appeals to authority' as a method of persuasion, in contexts ranging from celebrity endorsement of products (e.g. the "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV" line (TV Tropes, 2011)) to the use of clothes (e.g. a security guard's uniform) to trigger 'compliance' with requests. Possible design implications: many users will behave as suggested by an 'authority .gure' or expert even if that behaviour is outside what they would consider normal; systems can be designed to make use of this effect. Example: Much of Twitter's success at engaging users to join and participate was arguably due to well-publicized 'authority' .gures and celebrities embracing it at an early stage.

- Scaricity: The scarcity principle suggests that "opportunities seem more valuable to us when their availability is limited(Cialdini, 2007, p.238). Whether scarcity is real or not in a situation, if it is perceived to be, people may value something more, and so alter their behavior in response. Possible design implications: Design systems strategically to emphasize the scarcity of a resource. Make use of loss aversion or introduce artifi.cial scarcity (e.g. digital rights management). Example: Digital fuel gauges showing the remaining range on the current tank can help concentrate drivers' minds on the scarcity value of the fuel.

- HabitsHabits may arise over time simply through the precedent that one action sets for future ones. A design intervention which can easily become a habit, or modify an existing everyday habit, could be e.ffective; equally, if a designed system makes it easier for some actions to occur without imposing too much cognitive load, then it is probably more likely to be able to establish those actions as habits.

Other important things to know/remember about this course:

Attending my class requires careful attention to fairness and respect for one another. Therefore, I propose the following two simple rules of conduct:

  1. Attend class on time. It enhances the value of the class not only for you but for everyone when you are present and you participate. If you have an unavoidable conflict, please do not disturb your classmates by arriving late, leaving early, or asking to have information you missed repeated during the class. Moreover, attention in class is essential for understanding this material. Talking while the instructor or other students are speaking, are disrespectful to the instructor and other class members. 

  2. Laptops, cell phones, and other devices may not be used in class. Hard experience has taught me that their benefits are outweighed by the distracting nuisance they represent for both you your classmates. Thank you for respecting this rule.

Said that, I enthusiastically welcome input from students. For example, if you particularly like (or dislike) a reading, please let me know. I welcome you to meet with me in office hours or to contact me via email. Finally, I encourage you to contribute topic-relevant comments and questions during class time. I hope you will also engage with the class material in ways the lead you to notice its relevance all around you, in press reports, in business magazines, in books, in movies, on television, and elsewhere. The class Facebook group is the place to post links or documents that you find. The idea is that we will all learn from each other. For the same reason I encourage you to study together and to discuss your ideas and presentation in groups. 

Finally, academic integrity and professionalism: Needless to say, I expect full academic integrity from students in this course. At a minimum, this means no cheating on exams and presentation. All work handed in must be your own. Substantial paraphrasing or borrowing of ideas without appropriate citation can be construed as plagiarism, so be sure that you understand what constitutes a breach of academic integrity. 


  • Cialdini, R.B. (2007). Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion (Revised Edition). Collins, London

Useful Tools:

  • http://research.danlockton.co.uk/toolkit/designwithintent_cards_1.0_draft_300dpi.pdf

Useful links and blogs: