University of Exeter


PSY3002 Special topics in Psychology II

Introduction to Economic Psychology

Programme of Topics, Essay titles, and Booklist

This course will be given in the First Semester (October to January). Meetings will be in the Washington Singer Laboratories. Dates and rooms for meetings will be announced by early October; in 1999/2000 they will be on Thursdays from 11 to 1 in room 241.

Programme of topics

The course will mainly be organized around a life-span approach. The current draft of the programme is as follows: links are to the most recent updates of relevant reading lists, which may not be the final versions for this year's course.

1. An introduction to the study of Economic Psychology
2. Rationality
3. The early years: Economic socialization
4. Adolescence and young adulthood: Becoming an economic adult
5. Family economic psychology
6. Economic behaviour in maturity I: Buying, saving, investing and owning
7. Economic behaviour in maturity II: Work, leisure and unemployment
8. Economic psychology in old age
9.  The psychology of money
10. The economics of happiness:
...Christmas break...
11. Revision seminar


The following sources are generally useful. Some of them are referred to repeatedly in the reading lists, using the name or initials shown after each one:

Other abbreviations used in the reading lists:


Students may write an essay under any of the following titles.
  1. "The foundations of economic behaviour are laid down in the teenage years". Do you agree?
  2. Who gets into debt and why?
  3. To what extent can possessions make people happy?
  4. Does the psychology of money help us understand the possible futures of money?
  5. Does experimental economics add to our understanding of individual economic behaviour and if so, how?
  6. Is there any evidence that “mental accounts” play a major role in individuals’ money management?
  7. Evaluate the contributions to economic psychology of one or more of: Amitai Etzioni, Richard Thaler, Robert Lane, George Katona, Gary Becker, Tibor Scitovsky

  8. What has economic anthropology got that economic psychology needs?

Stephen Lea, Paul Webley

University of Exeter
School of Psychology
Washington Singer Laboratories
Exeter EX4 4QG
United Kingdom
Tel +44 1392 264626
Fax +44 1392 264623

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Document revised 14th November 1999 (PW)