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Foundations of Behavioral Economics(Fall '21)

Ended Nov 29, 2021

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Full course description

Foundations of Behavioral Economics (Spring 2021) 

Businesses of all sizes and industries are applying behavioral economics to work with the brain of their customers (instead of relying on what they believe people should do). To remain competitive, companies and their employees will need an understanding of how the brain really works and basic concepts from the field of behavioral economics. This in-depth knowledge is required to begin combining concepts together to properly apply and test ways to solve real business problems with BE. This 10-week course, the first core class of the Certificate in Applied Behavioral Economics, will provide a foundation and a safe opportunity for students to begin applying the concepts.  


The course instructor is Melina Palmer, founder and CEO of The Brainy Business, which provides behavioral economics consulting to businesses of all sizes from around the world. Her podcast, The Brainy Business, has downloads in over 160 countries. Melina worked in corporate marketing and brand strategy for over a decade before earning her master’s in behavioral economics. She has contributed research to the Association for Consumer Research, Filene Research Institute, and runs the Behavioral Economics & Business column for Inc Magazine. 

Curriculum Outline (subject to change)

In this class, students can expect to learn about: 

  • Brain Systems and Biases
  • Habits, Emotions and Memories
  • Priming, Senses and Mirror Neurons
  • Herding and Social Proof
  • Framing
  • Scarcity and Loss Aversion
  • NUDGES and Choice Architecture
  • Anchoring and Relativity
  • Reciprocity and Other Rules of Persuasion
  • Combining Concepts for Application

     NOTE: You will need to purchase Melina Palmer's What Your Customer Wants and Can't Tell You: Unlocking Consumer Decisions with the Science of Behavioral Economics.  We have discounted the course to take the prices of the book into account.


➡️ FAQs ⬅️

Who is this course for? 
Our classes are designed specifically for practitioners and professionals in a wide range of fields. The courses are more applied than theoretical, so whether you are established in your corporate career and looking for an edge (or change of pace) or an entrepreneur and everything in between, you will benefit from this course. 

Is there an application form to sign up for this course? 
Yes, once you click on the Enroll button you will be prompted to answer a series of questions that we view as your application. We strongly believe that everyone should have an opportunity to knowledge, but if we determine that you would not be a good fit for the course then we will promptly refund your money.

How is the course taught? 
This program is entirely online so students from around the world can participate. One aspect that makes this course unique is that it is the lecture is prerecorded so you can listen whenever you wish. Students can choose to attend the virtual office hour and interact with fellow students and the instructor or they can watch the recorded discussion later. The course is pass/fail with the majority of graded material being posted discussions with your class cohorts.

What if I have questions about the course material? 
Each week we will offer online “Office Hours” so you can talk directly with the instructors.

How long is the course? 
The course is 10-weeks long. Each week you will have readings and assignments to complete.

Where can I learn more about the Certificate Program? 
For full details, visit Certificate Program.

How much of a time commitment is required each week? 
We would suggest that you allot 2-3 hours to complete the readings, assignments, and watching the presentations. Most weeks we will have optional readings in case you are really interested in that week’s topic and want to dig in more, but that is completely up to you.

What are the technical requirements? 
We use the online learning platform, Canvas that we will grant you access to once you enroll in a course. As long as you have access to the internet you should be good to go. Also, it would help if your computer has a camera and microphone enabled so you can take full advantage of the “Office Hours” and to be able to ask questions during the class, though this is not required.

Are the course credits transferable to either a Bachelor’s or Master’s program? 
No. Courses offered through are non-credit bearing courses. These are offered as opportunities to learn new skills and enhance job performance and to assist numerous professional licensing and accrediting bodies that require continuing education as a provision for the preservation of good standing in their industry. Those who complete the full Certificate program in Applied Behavioral Economics will receive a certificate of completion. 

How many courses can I take at any one time? 
We want to ensure students take time and learn the material deeply so we limit students to taking up to 2 courses per semester.  There are opportunities to take shorter condensed courses in between semesters. (If you are participating in the full Certificate in Applied Behavioral Economics, you can take two condensed courses in place of one elective.)

Can you drop a course once it has started? 
Yes, you can drop any required or elective course before the second week of class for a full refund.  You will receive a 50% refund between weeks two and five. 

What is the Human Behavior Laboratory? 
The Human Behavior Laboratory at Texas A&M University is one of the largest biometrics lab in the academic world, bringing together a transdisciplinary team of leading researchers and advanced technology to deliver insights never before produced at this scale and speed. From marketing and education to nutrition and economics, biometric research applies to a wide range of disciplines. When you understand how people make decisions, you can be better prepared to help them make better ones. Individuals can make better life choices about their health, finances, relationships, what they buy, and how they manage risk. Businesses can increase product recognition and sales if they know what customers really want and how to reach them. Health providers can increase patient compliance and success by understanding how to motivate patients to develop self-control and adopt healthy behaviors.

After I have enrolled/registered for my course, how do I log in to view more information about it? 
Once you have registered for a course, workshop or conference, additional information can be found in the Catalog listing.  Go to and click “Login” in the upper-right corner of the website.


Additional Questions? If they are about Continuing Education at TAMU go here. Otherwise, please contact the program manager at HBL@TAMU.EDU


Ready to Enroll? Great! We look forward to seeing you in class beginning Sept 12, 2021.