Overview of Behavioral Economics Essay

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Behavioural economics is the study of the effects that psychology has on the decision making of the economy. This tends to be the way that people think and feel when they are spending money on a certain good or service. The great economist Adam Smith was the first follower of this idea through his book “The theory of moral sentiments” which dates back to 1759. However, it took over 100 years to get a more clarified meaning of how big of a role the psychology of a buyer plays in economics. In behavioural economics there are seven basic principles which all contribute to the decision making process. Behavioural economics can explain how people will react to different situations such as times when there are no economic problems and times when…show more content…
In other words most people would prefer to pay more and buy a more expensive product thinking that by paying more it is also superior to the other products of the same category that are cheaper. However, although the phrase “you get what you pay for” might have some validity in it that is not always the case, due to the fact that sometimes the products that might be cheaper are just as good as the competitor brand which has a higher price. In this instant it would be logical to buy the cheaper product however most human beings would opt for the expensive product, assuming that it is of better quality than the cheaper product. On the other hand, Dan Ariely rebuffs this claim and states, “We choose what we like, not what's best.” Sometimes humans don’t make decisions based on their preferences; instead they choose what they want and that leads to a process of rationalisation in order to get what they really want. However, they still want to give the impression that they were acting according to their preferences. Secondly, the framing effect states that presenting the same option but in a different format can change people’s decisions. Plous (1993) states that, “individuals have a tendency to select inconsistent choices, depending on whether the question is framed to concentrate on losses or gains.” A good example of when framing is apparent is when stores advertise sale on their products. For example two stores both sell the same product which is priced at £50
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