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Behavioral Decision-Making Perspective in Business and Public Policy (5 cr)

Code: A9534-3006

General information


03.04.2023 - 09.04.2023


22.05.2023 - 13.08.2023

Number of ECTS credits allocated

5 op

Virtual proportion

5 op

RDI proportion

2 op

Mode of delivery

Distance learning


Korkeakouluyksikkö D /YAMK


Laurea Virtual Campus

Teaching languages

  • English


20 - 50

Degree programmes

  • Complementary competence, master’s studies in English (CYJ2), Generic studies
  • Complementary competence, Master’s studies (TYJ), Generic Studies


  • Markus Kanerva
  • Kaisa Hytönen

Teacher in charge

Markus Kanerva

Scheduling groups

  • Avoin AMK 1 (Size: 5. Open UAS: 5.)


  • CYJ23KJ
    Complementary competence (master’s studies in English), K23, Generic studies
  • TYJ23KJ
    Täydentävä osaaminen (yamk-tutkinto), K23, yhteiset opinnot

Small groups

  • 1


The student is able to
- understand the role of heuristics and biases in everyday decision making
- explore the fields of behavioral economics and behavioral decision making
- identify and apply psychological factors in business and public policy applications
- evaluate development plans from behavioral perspective
- analyze ethical aspects of behavioral interventions and nudges

Teaching methods

In this study unit you will learn the basics of behavioral economics. You will gain understanding on behavioral biases and heuristics that are apparent in human behavior. In this study unit we will also take knowledge from behavioral economics into action by considering the impact of behavioral phenomena in business and public policy applications.

The study unit is divided into orientation and 5 Modules:
Module 1: General overview of behavioral insights in business and public policy
Module 2: Deeper into behavioral insights
Module 3: Ethical perspectives of behavioral interventions
Module 4: Behavioral insights into action
Module 5: Applying behavioral perspective

The study unit is organized virtually on Canvas platform. There is one kick-off lecture on Monday, May 22 at 17:00 -18:30 (EET). No other lectures during the course.

The study unit contains planning and executing a small-scale real-life application of behavioral insights, and analysis of an existing development plan from a behavioral perspective. You will also work in smaller groups during the summer discussing by posting conversation starters and comments about different topics you have read about in an online forum, but you can decided the schedule with your group.

You can reach the instructor and your fellow students through the Q&A discussion board on Canvas platform. You can use the Canvas Inbox or email messages. The instructor gives feedback on the Canvas platform.

Learning materials and recommended literature

Hallsworth, M., & Kirkman, E. (2020). Behavioral insights. MIT Press.

Luca, M., & Bazerman, M. H. (2020). The Power of Experiments: Decision Making in a Data-Driven World. Mit Press.

Additional reading materials are given on Canvas platform. Students are also encouraged to search for (academic) literature sources.

Alternative completion methods of implementation

According to degree regulations “All students are entitled to demonstrate their competence. The recognition and accreditation of prior competence is initiated by the students themselves. The competence is recognised and accredited by the teacher responsible for the module or study unit or another person designated by the director of the UAS unit. The assessment is carried out according to the same criteria and grading scale as that adopted for the corresponding study unit.” For further information visit Student Intranet.

Co-operation with working life and/or RDI

The study unit includes a practical exercise where the students are encouraged to solve practical problems at their everyday life, and to further consider their developmental work.

Important dates

Recommended kick-off lecture on Monday, May 22th, 2023, at 17:00 -18:30 (EET).

The study unit and assignments are divided into 5 Modules. The DL for handing in assignments is August 13th, 2023.

Retake DL September 17th, 2023.

Forms of internationality

Use of international academic literature. International student group.

Students workload

Orientation 8 hours
Each module 25 hours

Content and scheduling

In this study unit behavioral insights are applied in business and public policy context. How cognitive biases and heuristics affect our decision-making is one of the main themes. Nudges and choice architecture are introduced as a mean to change people's behavior

Further information for students

The study unit corresponds to the requirements of Master's level education.

According to the degree regulations (section 18) “students must be present in the first contact session or notify their teacher in charge if they cannot attend. If they fail to notify the teacher of their absence in the first contact session, their enrolment will be rejected. Another student in the queue may be enrolled in the study unit in the place of the absent student.” (Laurea degree regulations) “In the case of online studies the lecturer can also specify some other way than participation on an online meeting what is required from the student so that he/she verifies his/her attendance on the study unit” (Decision by the vice president, education 7/2019).

There are 5 places available in open UAS and 10 places on CampusOnline.

Students of the Master's programmes in Behavioral Insights in Business Applications (Päätöksenteon ilmiöt johtamisessa, kehittämisessä ja asiakastyössä) or Behavioral Insights and Choice Architecture (Päätöksenteon ilmiöt ja valintamuotoilu) are not eligable to apply to this study unit.

The quality of the study unit implementation has been assessed and the self-evaluation report is available in Canvas.

Grading scale


Evaluation methods and criteria

“The evaluation of competence is based on the descriptions of objectives in the curricula and the evaluation criteria provided in the study unit’s implementation plan” (Laurea degree regulations).

The study unit will be evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5 / fail. To pass the study unit you need to complete the Orientation assignment by Sunday, June 4th, and to pass at least Module 1 by August 14th. Your grade will be defined based on the Modules you have successfully completed. Individual assignments are evaluated on a complete / incomplete scale or in points (multiple choice tasks). To pass a multiple choice task the student needs to score at minimum 70% of the points.

The evaluation scheme, together with the Module structure and content, complies with the general evaluation criteria of study units in Masters studies which is described here below.

To achieve grade 5 (excellent) the student must be able to:

- create a consistent framework/knowledge base making use of both national and international scientific sources in a critical analytic fashion. (Knowledge base)
- solve demanding problems in research, development and/or innovation activities where new knowledge and competence is created as well as to apply and combine information from different fields. (Problem solving)
- develop the activities of the competence area in a target-oriented and communal fashion. (Development)
- communicate convincingly both orally and in writing to audiences within and exterior to the field. (Communication)

To achieve grade 3 (good) the student must be able to:

- gather, process, produce and evaluate information critically and widely making use of both national and international scientific sources. (Knowledge base)
- use concepts of the area of expertise fairly. (Knowledge base)
- solve problems in research, development and/or innovation activities by applying and combining information from different fields. (Problem solving)
- create target-oriented, justified development plans considering the community. (Development)
- communicate in a competent, clear and consistent manner both orally and in writing. (Communication)

To achieve grade 1 (satisfactory) the student must be able to:
- gather, process, produce and evaluate information widely. (Knowledge base)
- use concepts of the area of expertise systematically. (Knowledge base)
- solve problems in research, development and/or innovation activities. (Problem solving)
- recognise and analyse focuses of development making use of the knowledge base. (Development)
- communicate clearly both orally and in writing. (Communication)

“Students who have failed assignments or examinations required for passing a study unit must supplement or retake their study attainment in a manner and schedule defined by the teacher of the study unit.” (Laurea degree regulations.)

All staff and students of Laurea are expected to adhere to good scientific practices, which includes appropriate referencing. Familiarise yourself with the practices and, if needed, ask for more information. All study assignments are to be done as individual work unless otherwise instructed. If Urkund is used when assignments are checked, the lecturer will inform the students of this.