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A Beginner's Guide to Irrational Behavior

Course Description:

***CourseBuffet note: This course is no longer available. We are not sure when/if it will return*** Behavioral economics couples scientific research on the psychology of decision making with economic theory to better understand what motivates financial decisions. In A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior, you will learn about some of the many ways in which we behave in less than rational ways, and how we might overcome our shortcomings. You’ll also learn about cases where our irrationalities work in our favor, and how we can harness these human tendencies to make better decisions.

  • Instructor(s) Dan Ariely
  • University
  • Provider
  • Start Date 19/Jan/2015
  • Duration 6 weeks
  • Main Language English
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Course Reviews

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  • mehtap.demir.507
    Mehtap Completed Course Apr 28 2014
    Life Changing This course has been life changing to me. It was very easy to follow and the material and the people were very much motivating. Thank you!
  • tanya.hewitt.923
    Tanya Completed Course Apr 28 2014
    Fabulous Course Behavioural economics surely at its best - packed full of information, humour and honest work. This course offers tonnes of opportunity to engage, allowing everyone to get from the course what they put in. Really, really excellent - surpassing many in person classes I have taken.
  • vlad.adrian.ilie
    Vlad-Adrian Enrolled Apr 28 2014
    Excellent course I'm really grateful for all the information, and how it was packed into really short videos for those with too little time, and explained very nicely in the reading assignments, for those who want extra data.
  • rchadda
    Rajat Completed Course Apr 28 2014
    Excellent Course and Teacher! I had previously taken "Behavioral Economics in Action" on EdX from University of Toronto. I think it was a great course and I learnt new methods and techniques. It was very very engaging and extremely well presented. I didn't get directions on where to enter questions so they could get answered through the office hours. The office hours were too long and should have been condensed. There was an overload of material in terms of research paper reading and I think it can be reduced to a high degree. Also, allowing multiple attempts on quizzes was a great idea!
  • jenperkins
    Jennifer Completed Course Apr 28 2014
    Wonderful I took this course in Spring 2013 and was disappointed that I didn't score highly enough to earn a certificate then. (I was just a point or two away from it!) I was determined to get the certificate the next time it was offered, which was this spring, and I went for the simpler certificate as opposed to the certificate of distinction. This is possibly the best course I've ever taken of any kind. The course material is amazing, Dan Ariely is a tremendous presenter, and the videos were superbly designed and developed. (I'm an instructional designer and using ideas from the videos for some videos I'm doing for a course.) I learned a ton, and watching the video lectures the second time helped things sink in, so I can't complain about taking the course twice. Thanks, Dan Ariely and the rest of the development team!
  • zephyrluna
    Holly Completed Course Apr 29 2014
    Irrationally awesome! I have taken other MOOCs in the past, and every school has a different idea of their role in the future of education. While some courses are little more than glorified Powerpoint presentations, this particular class was about as close to a legitimate, for credit class as it could get in an online format!

    Dan Ariely is a wealth of knowledge on the topic of human behavior and a charming, charismatic teacher. All of the hours spent on this course were absolutely worth it! I'm only sad it's over, but I will keep my fingers crossed for an advanced class, in the future!
  • hudela
    Tomasz Completed Course Apr 29 2014
    Extraordinary! What is more important for human being than understanding causes of his own actions as well as others? This class hopefully make you aware of probable reasons of someone irrational behavior and you'll be less stressed about it.

    Dan is one of the best teachers I've ever had. Videos consists of Dan explanations and lots of figures and even cartoons. The team put a lot of work into preparing materials and making things easy to understand.

    As the Dan's explanations are straightforward and colorful there is a quite high bar for passing the course (85%).

    I've chosen a path with distinction, so I had to read additionally about 4-5 scientific papers (which was really fun!) and finish two additional writing assignments (solving real life problem and designing an experiment). Dan exactly knew what he is doing making it so hard (you'll get it when learn about IKEA effect and cognitive dissonance). I feel really good about myself after finishing the course! I would definitely do it again, and waiting for an advanced course :-)
  • Pat
    Pat Completed Course Apr 29 2014
    Excellent I enjoyed this course immensely. A lot of hard work had gone into the making of the course. It was fast paced, and I felt I could have done with more time to mull over the concepts. Thank you.
  • simon.goa
    Simon Completed Course Apr 29 2014
    Forgiving irrational people I find it easy to forgive nut cases
  • 100003966720681
    Elisabeth Completed Course Apr 29 2014
    Revelation This course opened my eyes to behavior that I never realized occurred. Using scientific methods our ability to make decisions using irrational behavior was exposed. Knowing this will now help me make better decisions in the future. I suggest that anyone who makes decisions (especially regarding money & financial decisions) to take this course. Dan Ariely is a great professor and has a diligent staff. I am so glad I took this course.
  • Dana
    Dana Completed Course Apr 29 2014
    Entertaining and Informative A really enjoyable course. All lectures were well presented, entertaining, and enjoyable and incredibly informative. A really pleasurable, and thought provoking, experience.
  • oregon2014
    de Completed Course Apr 29 2014
    Peer grading useless The lectures were interesting and the prof was easy to listen to. The grading on written papers was done by peers (faceless) which lent itself to rude/mean comments that had nothing to do with the papers. Seemed like a forum for venting rather than actually following a rubric and grading sincerely. Good lectures, but the work was useless.
  • Linda.Whittock.Tourdot
    Linda Completed Course Apr 29 2014
    Behavioral Economics in Daily Life The course really opened my eyes to the choices we make and why we make them. It's scary to realize how we can be manipulated into certain choices but by taking this course I hope that I am a little more aware of my own personal choices in daily living. Great course presented by an amazing professor dealing with life around us each and every day.

    The course involves commitment to set aside time for the video lectures each week, which are presented in such a way that is conducive to retaining the information. Quizzes are multiple choice, as is the final.
  • alexandratiganas
    Alexandra Completed Course Apr 29 2014
    the perfect course I think all of us students of the Irrational Behavior course wish we could have taken it in real life. Unfortunately the is no university big enough to host all 10.000 or 100.000 or us! But the online experience was as close to the real one as it can be, and had some added benefits too. It was informative, entertaining, challenging and with a lot of take away for the real world (as opposed to the academic one). I recommend it to all those interested in keeping their minds open and in good fighting shape.
  • Elitza
    Elitza Completed Course Apr 29 2014
    Perfect course The course was great!
    It was a rare combination of learning very useful and applicable things and having fun at the same time!
  • AmyCerato
    Amy Enrolled Apr 29 2014
    Fantastic, Engaging Online Course The lectures, interactive quizzes, cartoons and guest lectures were fantastic and I could tell a lot of time went into creating the material for the course. This was a great follow up to reading Dan's book, Predictably Irrational. I took the "normal" route, and watched the lectures and took the lecture quizzes and final exam. Next time, I'll try to do the "with distinction" route, because the readings were quite fun, but too time consuming this time. I would have also liked to spend more time on the discussion fora, which I found very interesting and informative. I highly recommend this course!
  • angelo.salignac
    Angelo Completed Course Apr 30 2014
    Fantastic It's awesome. You can really change the way you see the world (and people) after this course. The reading material is excellent, the video lectures are fantastic.
  • bright.liwei
    Wei Completed Course Apr 30 2014
    Simply the BEST!!! Nicely designed and well presented. Every week, it brought an inspirational topic about behavioral irrationality, which made me learn a lot. Thank you so much!!!
  • paulwkim
    Paul Completed Course Apr 30 2014
    The Most Practical and Interesting Course you will ever take This was a profoundly interesting and practical class to take. It was captivating beyond words and by far the best class I have ever taken. Ever.
  • melanie.boxall
    Melanie Completed Course Apr 30 2014
    Very enjoyable. Proof that study doesn't have to be serious, to be taken seriously. It was great fun. I hope Dan does more courses.
  • alina.baltos
    Alina Completed Course May 03 2014
    Great! I found this course extremely useful, both for business and every day life situations. I highly recomend it.
  • 1563285626
    Julie Completed Course May 05 2014
    Great class Well prepared, engaging professor, interesting material. I loved it and couldn't wait for the new lectures each week.
  • mesishi
    Jennifer Completed Course May 05 2014
    Great course: learn about you and others in a fun, professional fashion! Overall the course is awesome and just fun to take. It helps you to understand more of your own behavior, what kind of tricks you can use to motivate yourself (and others, might be team members, family, friends, etc.) and keep you going or to spend your money more "rationally" or to reflect on how you see sex and much more... and of course, it also gives you a lot of information to understand others and get the best out of them.
    * 3 to 4 hours (maybe less) is just the time you need to keep on track but it's a lot more profitable if you can get an extra couple of hours to engage in additional (optional) content and spaces (like forums).
    ** The course is AWESOME!
  • Nikasus3
    Niki Completed Course May 07 2014
    Thank you Dan Ariely for an excellent course! This is the first MOOC that I have participated in. I had no prior experience in this subject, but the videos were really accessible and fun and so lack of previous knowledge did not hinder my progress. I found the course fascinating and it genuinely has had a huge impact on my life as I now have more awareness and understanding of why I do what I do (and also why others do what they do!) and I can apply the knowledge I have gained to improve my circumstances. I highly recommend this course.
  • david.andrusko.1
    David Completed Course May 09 2014
    Understand Life around Yourself More I liked the class a lot. Not only is doing this course a much better option than vegging out in front of the TV watching HBO, but all the readings, examples and research demonstrated in the class will definitely help you make wiser decisions in the future as well as further your career.

    Understanding your colleagues' and clients' thinking a little bit more is crucial. The class will help you learn about motivation, the psychology of money, emotions and making decisions in life. I will definitely take it again, if there is such an opportunity.
  • Maor
    Maor Completed Course May 10 2014
    Terrific One of the most enjoyable free course offered.
    Very beneficial to anybody interested in Economy.