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Behavioral Game Theory Course Enhances Economic Decision Insights


The School of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg launches a doctoral course in Behavioral Game Theory for autumn semester 2023. The course bridges psychology and economics, exploring complex economic scenarios where decision-makers interact and influence each other

Porträtt av Martin Dufwenberg
"Trying to understand how people make decisions and influence each other is great fun", says Martin Dufwenberg, Professor in economics.<br /> Photo: Jessica Oscarsson
Photo: Jessica Oscarsson

The course called Behavioral Game Theory is led by Martin Dufwenberg, a professor of economics at the University of Arizona and a guest researcher at the Department of Economics at the School of Business, Economics, and Law in Gothenburg. Martin Dufwenberg uses game theory in his research and will guide doctoral students, as well as master's students if space permits, through the course

What is the difference between game theory and behavioral game theory?
– Game theory is a mathematical toolkit used to analyze situations where many individuals, also known as 'players,' interact and influence each other. In conventional game theory, it is often assumed that players' preferences are constant, and that players are assumed to be rational. In behavioral game theory, this analysis is enriched with psychological aspects. One may for example derive how preferences depend on emotions such as anger or disappointment, or one takes irrationality into account.

What are the most important skills will the doctoral students develop during the course?
 Our society is replete with strategic interaction and behavioral game theory provides tools that allow one to systematically think about and analyze what’s going on. The students will be introduced to the exciting world of behavioral game theory and informed about its topics and methods. This also includes how to design experiments that can test the empirical relevance of the theory.

What are the most exciting aspects of teaching behavioral game theory?
 Trying to understand how people make decisions and influence each other is great fun. The most exciting aspect of my course is that I can open my students’ eyes to these exciting methods and insights.

Text: Jessica Oscarsson

More information:
To the two day course Behavioral Game Theory