30463 - MIND AND SOCIETY: INTRO TO COGNITIVE SCIENCES
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 13
For a fruitful and effective learning experience, students should be comfortable with basic notions of mathematics and statistics for the social sciences (e.g., functions, differential calculus, optimization, linear algebra, probability, random variables), as well as with basic notions of microeconomics (utility functions, consumption decisions, choice under uncertainty, inter-temporal choice, Nash equilibrium).
This course integrates insights from cognitive science into models of economic behavior. It discusses the limitations of standard economic models and surveys the ways in which psychological experiments have been used to learn about cognition, preferences, and behavior. The first part of the course provides an introduction to major theories in cognitive science, with emphasis on the information-processing mechanisms of the mind. The second part of the course presents experimental evidence on behavior which is puzzling from the perspective of standard microeconomic theories, and explores how cognitive science can help us to build richer, more realistic models of economic decision making.
Part 1: Introduction to Cognitive Science:
- Neural Processing.
- Attention and Perception.
- Intelligence and Knowledge.
- Similarity and Categorization.
Part 2: Cognitive Science and Economic Decision-Making:
- Choice under Risk and Uncertainty.
- Choice over Time.
- Framing Effects and Preference Reversals.
- Endowment Effects.
- Social Comparisons and Fairness.
- Search for Information and Learning.
- Describe well established theories in cognitive science.
- Recognize the complexity of cognitive processes underlying decision-making.
- Summarize major findings on decision making from experimental economics.
- Identify strengths as well as limitations of standard microeconomic theories.
- Connect research and theories of cognition and behavior from diverse fields of the social sciences, including psychology, neuroscience, and economics.
- Develop novel theories of economic decision-making which take into account the biological and neuroscientific foundations of cognition.
- Apply research in cognitive science and behavioral economics to everyday events and challenges.
- Face-to-face lectures
Face-to-face lectures only.
|Continuous assessment||Partial exams||General exam|
In order to evaluate the acquisition of the aforementioned learning outcomes, the assessment is based on written exams. Performance can be evaluated in two different ways:
- A midterm exam covering the first part of the course, followed by a final exam covering the second part of the course. The grade in each exam is between 0 and 30. The course is passed if the grade in both exams is at least 18. In this case, the final grade is the mean of the two, rounded upwards.
- A general exam which covers the whole course. The grade in the general exam is between 0 and 30. The course is passed if the grade in the general exam is at least 18.
Regardless of the format, the exams are based on a mix of multiple-choice and open questions:
- Multiple choice questions are designed to test the students’ knowledge of the basic concepts and notions introduced in the course.
- Open-ended questions are aimed at evaluating the students’ ability to establish connections between cognitive science and microeconomics and to use these connections to explain decision-making behavior which is puzzling from the perspective of standard microeconomic theories.
Teaching materials are announced before the start of the course and indicated or uploaded to the Blackboard platform.