Behavioral Economics: The Way Forward in Education
Behavioral Economics focuses on modelling the decision-making process of individuals, by exploring the emotional, psychological, and social factors that lead to those decisions. Although it primarily focuses on economic decisions nonetheless there is significant potential in the educational field to use the key themes of behavioral economics. A key challenge in all levels of education is in motivating students to study, to participate in class, and to complete their assignments. Behavioral economics provides two key themes that can be used to achieve this, first, the use of heuristics, the rules-of-thumb and mental shortcuts people use when making decisions, and second, framing, the set of general, and generalized, concepts that individuals use in how they understand and think about reality.By combining these two themes, it is possible to present lectures, assignment, and feedback in such a manner as to induce the students engage and participate in the learning process, and particularly in the peer-learning process, in a full-engaged fashion. Additionally Conditional Expected Utility, Prospect Theory, and Intertemporal Choice, provide specific algorithms that may be used to devise specific prompts, and terminology, to aid students in achieving their potential.