Talk:Behavioral economics

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Former good article Behavioral economics was one of the good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Socionomics[edit]

An anonymous user posted the following.

One of the very recent additions to the area of behaviorial finance is called Socionomics. Socionomics deals with the study of aggregate social mood in various countries and regions over time, and how that mood drives human perception of financial and economic value (prices, etc.) but also such disparate social indicators as entertainment attendance and the hem length of women's dresses. Robert Prechter has recently authored a book by that name.

The reason I removed it was not only because it was put, randomly, in the middle of the history section but because it's not really true. I haven't heard of either Socionomics or Robert Prechter but what is described there is basically the link between economic wealth and happiness. This has been analysed in detail by a number of economists ever since Easterlin (1974) published convincing data showing that the link between income and happiness was not particularly strong. An issue of the quarterly journal of economics was devoted to the topic in 1997, iirc. It is not a new field of investigation by any means, but it is worth mentioning. I have added it to the topics in behavioural economics (where it belongs) and will write a page on it when I have the time. Psychobabble 02:00, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

You didn't miss anything by not having heard about both prechter and "socionomics". Prechter is an esoterist, numerologue and astrologue, confusing fractals and the famous/infamous elliott waves and gann numbers, and selling that unappetizing fast broth to naive investors under the lofty "socionomics" trademark ;-)). --Pgreenfinch 07:59, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The guy who posted that on the BF page has now made socionomics. It might be worth adding what you know about Pretcher and the subject on that page, it's rather fawning atm :) Psychobabble 23:34, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)
OK, I brought some needed additions to help describe fully that - oh so impressive - "new science" ;-)).

Robert Prechter is listed in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. He has been called by the Wall Street Journal "perhaps the world’s best-known technical analyst", 2/09/10 and has his forecast featured in an WSJ article, 7/10/10. Over 100 articles have appeared in the New York Times since 1977 about his market forecasts. In the 1980's his forecasts were cited frequently being the cause of specific market declines. George Soros said of Prechter's forecast two weeks before the crash of Oct, 87, "Mr. Prechter's reversal proved to be the crack that started the avalanche," (NYT 10/28/87). The most recent NYT article is from 7/04/10. Prechter is quite controversial to some, due to his forecasts, use of The Elliott Wave Theory and frequent contrarian views about many markets. Never the less he has withstood the test of time (since 1975), is frequently quoted in the mainstream media and runs the world's largest market forecasting service with 20 editors. Social mood as studied by Sociomomics is not about economic wealth and happiness. It worthy of mention in the behavioral economics section for it's unique point of view of human behavior in markets, explanations of history and many financial and social forecasts derived from it's theory. —Preceding unsigned comment added by GaryLKaplan (talkcontribs) 19:04, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

'Failed' FAC[edit]

Well, this failed the FAC because no one really seemed to comment on it. I'll re-nominate it when I have addressed to some extent the only somewhat valid criticism - many of the sub-pages are incomplete. From the FAC page:

Partial self-nom - I added to pgreenfinch's original behavioural finance page. I think it's a good and well referenced article on a fairly interesting subset of finance/economics. But I might be biased :) Psychobabble

  • Support - yeh its interesting AlbinoMonkey 12:38, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • Object for now. Wiki needs definetly much more work on economic subjects and I am happy to see activity in this field, but this article is far from ready from featured status. Did you notice there are two 'Criticisms' sections?? I fixed various minor problems, but this needs more interlinks and expansion, especially where there are lists like 'Behavioral economics topics' or 'Key Figures'. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 20:16, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The outline of the article is split between behavioral finance and behavioral economics, the two criticism sections are specific to each of those sub-sections. I realise more needs to be done in the sub-topics, I wasn't sure if that was a criterion for having the main page (which is a broad outline of the field) featured. A lot of that stuff I'll fill in when I finish exams. Psychobabble
  • Comment on the picture: The only picture is a picture of Daniel Kahneman. The picture had no source/license information, but I've added a probable source and assumed the picture is fair use. Because of that I don't think we should use the picture in the article -- unless I'm mistaken about the license -- because I don't think we should use it as fair use outside Daniel Kahneman. ✏ Sverdrup 23:17, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I don't know much about this sort of stuff. I assumed if it was OK for the Kahnenman wikipedia articke, it was OK for this one.Psychobabble

I've gone and made a seperate page for Behavioural economics - I'm an Aussie so I spell the word with a U and didn't realise a redirect had been set up from behavoral economics to here. If people who know about this stuff can go look at the page I made and give some opinions as to whether we should merge the info on these two pages that'd be greatly appreciated. Finance and economics are obviously different fields, but the two movements are fairly closely related so it might be worth merging. I'd just like a 2nd opinion before doing so :)

Psychobabble


EoT: it seemed to me that the "See also law and economics" didnt belong on the graph with criticisms. Feel free to try it someplace else.


BF/BE is one of my pet fields, as you might see in my user's page. Imo, you made a very good job in your behavioural economics page. What is true is that BE and BF are studying more or less the same cognitive and emotional, individual and collective phenomena. But the anomalies that those biases create are a bit different if they take place in financial assets or in goods and services.

Thus the two texts would enrich each other, I think, if merged, with a common section about the human biases at play, and separate sections about the applications in finance and in economics. Btw, I think those biases and anomalies are found not only in markets, but also in public choice.

I suggest that the first of us who find the time to make this combination just do it, or at least start it, but I see no hurry as I think it would need a careful job to make something consistent and comprehensive for the readers.

Btw, not being an English speaker, I have no preference about how to spell behavio(u)ral), even if I use the American spelling that I found more common in the web. Funny thing from a froggy, isn'it ? ;-)--Pgreenfinch 15:35, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  • Ok, i've got some down time at work, I'm going to make a start on a merger. Thanks for your input. Psychobabble
    • Done. I copied the history section from the other page almost wholesale, expanded the methodology section and created seperate topics/criticisms sections for finance and economics. I added some stuff in the finance section on the equity premium puzzle cause I've looked at it a bit. I'd appreciate feedback :) Psychobabble

Thanks![edit]

Thanks for those who assembled the information on this page. What I'd like to see is more of the following:

The behavioral component of economics most likely has a strong connection to the development of the human brain in the Environment for Evolutionary Adaptation. Some authors have explored the connection between evolution and politics (Darwinian Politics by Paul Rubin), but the evolutionary origins of topics like Prospect Theory seem to have had limited scrutiny.

Pyschologists like Dan Wegner have developed comprehensive summaries of human behavior based on automatism. How much of this connects with behavioral economics?

Thanks once again.

Thanks for the feedback :) Most of what I've written here comes from articles and material covered in my Behavioural Economics subject. We did not look at anything to do with a link between evolution and any of the material (including prospect theory) nor with automatism. General behavioural models assume conscious but not necessarily rational decision making. As explained heuristics, rules of thumb and social norms are taken into account, but it is generally assumed that a decision are being made consciously. Psychobabble 01:08, 5 October 2005 (UTC)
Andrew Lo has an interesting paper outlining a theory of Adaptive Markets, which extends the idea of a market as ecosystem in this working paper with a nice tribute to Herbert Simon. It takes a formal approach and does not explore evolutionary traits and trade-offs in the development of the human brain. Fear has obvious roots in evolution, however a Google Scholar search for evolutionary origins of greed yields almost nothing. Perhaps it's misplaced aggression in the context of markets.
For the relationship between brain function and economics, see the article on Neuroeconomics, which is linked from the behavioral economics article. Jeremy Tobacman 17:15, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Should Behavioral Finance and Behavioral Economics Split Soon?[edit]

I assume that most folks here would expect that the two topics would eventually divide, say, when the total article reached 32k or possibly earlier. Are there advantages to dividing sooner in terms of the coherence and unity of the articles? Higher coherence and unity might make it easier for more people to participate as well. DCDuring 23:50, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Behavioral Economics as main title?[edit]

It seems to be sort of perverse that to read about behavioral economics, you have to go to an article on behavioral finance. Finance is a subfield of economics, and likewise behavioral finance is a subfield of behavioral economics. I suggest either making this switch, or splitting the article. y 05:35, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Behavioral economics is generally the study of deviations from standard rationality (i.e. loss aversion, time-inconsistent preferences, altruism, overconfidence, etc.) and finance is only one of a couple areas that it has applications to (albeit, perhaps the most lucrative area...). There are applications in labor, public policy, general consumer theory, etc. as well. Does anyone have a good reason for why the title should stay at "behavioral finance"? If I remember, I'll try to come back and make the change. HalfDome 14:13, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Most behavioral research took and still take place in financial matters. --Pgreenfinch 14:22, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Do you have a source for that? I think that is not true at all from all of the academic seminars that I have attended. It might be true in your disclipline of banking, but of course banking is only going to focus on behavioral economics that relates to finance. And actually regardless though, behavioral economics is still the broader, more general chacterization. HalfDome 18:50, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Title changed[edit]

No one seemed to have any real objections over the past week and a half, besides an unsupported claim that behavioral finance is the largest part of behavioral economics, so I made the change. If anyone has any objections now, please voice them here so we can arrive at consensus one way or another. Cheers, HalfDome 09:53, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Behavioral Finance & Technical Analysis[edit]

Just some Technical Analysts claim that Behavioural Finance theories lie behind Technical stories. BUT, NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND!


I would say that you are a bit off base. You might be correct that there is controversy on the subject, but there are academics who would disagree with you 100%. Look at the works of such highly esteemed professors as Blake LeBaron, Andy Lo, Didier Sornette, Elizabeth-Odders White. All find TA reasonable, and at least the first two are involved with Behavioral Finance. The book quoted is written by a professor with a technical analyst, who is past editor of a refereed journal of technical analysis. Sposer (talk) 04:08, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

This issue is not really clearcut, and cannot be solved definitively here. I tried a two-sided formulation. You can elaborate but I don't think that to give too much attention to this rather uncertain aspect would really help WP readers to understand better either BF or TA. I think also that it should be displaced from the introduction, precisely in order not to confuse readers. --Pgreenfinch (talk) 07:50, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

No argument from me. I do not think it belongs in the intro. It is more of an aside. It is more relevant to discuss the idea in the TA article. It is worth mentioning as an aside somewhere though. Sposer (talk) 20:44, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
  I removed mention of technical analysis from the 2nd paragraph on behavioral economics as it is of much lesser importance then to appear here. The sentence is a non-NPOV.  The use of the work rationalization is controversial and disparaging.  —Preceding unsigned comment added by GaryLKaplan (talkcontribs) 19:19, 11 July 2010 (UTC) 

I returned the quote, but moved it to the behavioral finance section. I will look to see if Kirkpatrick and Dahlquist (an academic by the way), used the term "rationalization" in the book, but I have it in my office. However, the term is not meant in a disparaging way. It is meant to mean that TA is the application of the behavioral finance theory and nothing more. The theory is the basis on which 100% of technical and quantitative analysis are built. Without behavioral finance, there is absolutely no basis for any technical or quantitative analysis, research or trading and investing.Sposer (talk) 21:27, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

The behavioral finance section seems more appropiate.

The first definition I came up with for rationalization is: "1. attempt to explain or justify (one's own or another's behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate." <Apple Dictionary, Version 2.1.2 (80.3)>. So, part of this definition is neutral and a part puts in "even if these are not true or appropriate." Something like critics say it is a rationalization would be an accurate statement. That word rationalization, beside the dark Freudian psycho-sexual interpretations, has that "not true or appropriate" spin on the end that reveals a bias. Do you want to say behavioral finance uses behavioral economics as an explanation, even though they well know is is not true or appropriate? That may be a valid critical point of view, but with the spin it is not neutral.GaryLKaplan (talk) 10:47, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Gary. I did not think of the "not true or appropriate" portion. In fact the meaning was the exact opposite. I will change the wording to what Kirkpatrick/Dahlquist use instead.Sposer (talk) 13:18, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Regarding PGreenfinch's edit, there are lots of academics who would agree with the statement. I can name several that I know in academia that would 100% agree with this statement. It was written by an academic (finance) along with the former editor of the Journal of Technical Analysis, who also teaches at universities and is a TA practitioner. That book is the basis for the Chartered Market Technician exam and is used by most university level TA courses.Sposer (talk) 19:41, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
"A lot" of academics does not allows a generalization, sorry. What about those who would not agree ? But I take your phrase. --Pgreenfinch (talk) 14:23, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Not going to get into an edit war over this, but I don't think I know a single Technical Analyst that knows anything about Behavioral Finance who would disagree with the statement that BF is the theory on which TA is built. It is the kind of question asked on the professional certification exam that technicians can take for analyst instead of Series 86. That is what is taught at any university that teaches such a course that uses the book (which states this point outright). My point is that of academics that think TA is real, which is probably a minority, many of these would agree with the statement, and virtually all technicians, but that is just to support the point of the sentence, which is what technicians know to be true. I am not trying to say that behavioral finance academics agree with the statement. I am saying that is what technical analysts know. Again, not going to edit war over this, but as the article stands now, it is just plain wrong. Sposer (talk) 02:25, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

History[edit]

Behavioral Economics is a new topic for me, so I can't judge whether it's my comprehension or the article, but the last sentence in the History section doesn't seem to make sense. Would someone with a broader grasp of the topic mind taking a look? It feels like two unrelated clauses mashed together, but I can't figure out from the context what the sentence was meant to say. Thanks so much to everyone for all of your efforts on this article- it's fascinating and informative. -76.208.190.24 (talk) 07:50, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

If you mean "However, very little has changed from what BF Skinner demonstrated about the laws of behaviour in the 1940s and 50s. Magnitude, promptness, and schedules of reward or reinforcement are the most powerful forces affecting working Americans.", it seems pretty non-sequitur, and unreferenced for a very strong statement. So I'm pulling it out. CRETOG8(t/c) 21:52, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

ostrich effect[edit]

It looks to me like ostrich effect is just one cognitive effect, so isn't particularly important to include in this article. It should probably be in the List of cognitive biases, so I'll go add it now. CRETOG8(t/c) 21:32, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Removing merge tags from both articles. CRETOG8(t/c) 16:21, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Key figures in[edit]

I've just started a discussion at WikiProject_Economics about the "Key figures"/"Key scholars" sections. If you have feelings about the matter, could you please comment there? CRETOG8(t/c) 23:53, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Satisfice[edit]

Editing "behavioral economics":

2nd paragraph of the "History" section - original sentence: "...reference should be made to the theory of Bounded Rationality by Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon who explained how people irrationally tend to be satisfied, instead of maximizing utility, as generally assumed."

the phrase "tend to be satisfied" is incorrect; it should be "tend to satisfice". The word "satisfice" was specifically coined by Herbert Simon to describe a type of quasi-optimizing behavior, in contrast to "utility maximizing". This is, it is a new technical term, not an ordinary English word.

Adam Smith, classical economists[edit]

I was pleased to see Adam Smith and TMS mentioned in the history section. However, it seems as though there is much more to say... he's only in one sentence, which fails to convey any real information. Is a deeper look into the classical sources needed? obbst 04:12, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Spam Links[edit]

The links that keep being removed have nothing to do with spam. They're legitimate links about Behavioral Economics, pointing to sites/documents/groups created by people in public policy, academia, etc. Whoever keeps removing them seems to have his/her own agenda in mind. That's not in the spirit of Wikipedia. Unless, of course, you think that some kind of academic purity law is violated by them. Quite frankly, that's also not in the interest of a discipline that has captured the interest of people in a wide range of fields, from universities, to governments and commercial researchers. If you think academic links aren't adequately represented, I would ask that you add more of them, instead of removing all but one. Many thanks.

I've removed them before, assuming good faith that the WP policies were just misunderstood. Here's a relevant guideline:
  • links normally to be avoided #10 "Links to social networking sites (such as MySpace and Facebook),[2] chat or discussion forums/groups (such as Yahoo! Groups), Twitter feeds, USENET newsgroups or e-mail lists." -- that describes the LinkedIn group, and the behavioral-finance group.
The neweconomics.org document reads as containing useful information, but still as part of what amounts to advertising. I suspect anything in that document which is useful can be sourced from somewhere else (such as academic work), and included in the article, rather than linking to the brochure. Feel free to make an argument for retaining this one. CRETOG8(t/c) 00:54, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I certainly have no ulterior motives. There is more than one person reverting these spam links. One post is for a think tank. That is promoting a new think tank = spam. One is for a linked in list. This is not a farm for social networking sites. One is a personal page and guide on behavioral economics and does not belong here. Also, WP is not a link farm. The article covers what is necessary. If there are important points missed, they should be added to the article proper and referenced. However, do not add little quotes just so one can promote links as better secondary sources (such as major books on the topic or papers from refereed journals such as the Journal of Finance of the Journal of Behavioral Finance) should be used instead. If you feel the Yale link is unwarranted, feel free to remove it, but the others are clearly promotional in nature, or not in the category of links added to Wikipedia.Sposer (talk) 01:47, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Intertemporal choice - huh?[edit]

The article is very helpful, but takes a serious turn toward the post-grad reading level in the section on intertemporal choice. Could someone explain it briefly in the article in a less complex way? dweinberger (talk) 21:11, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

I agree. I tried to understand what "behavioral economics" was, but after reading it several times, my eyes glaze over. What, exactly, is behavioral economics? Can people who know please describe it more clearly, with examples perhaps? My best guess is that it's a blurry area between economics and psychology.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 12:38, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Revamp needed[edit]

I'm agreeing with Dweinberger but am expanding my comment. Basically, I think this article is too complex, technical, and fails to communicate the basic ideas underlying behavioral economics. I don't think it's just the "intertemporal choice" section but most of the article. I'm considering a revamp, but I'm not a professional in psychology, but I can learn enough about psychology to improve this article; I'm a competent writer but not great. I revamped United States Congress recently.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 11:41, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

If people have specific thoughts about a possible revamp -- that is how to improve this article, what to include, what to expand, what to emphasize -- please list them here below. I'll be trying to revamp this soon. Generally I try to keep as much as possible of what there's currently (I may copyedit for clarity) but I don't remove references, and try to reference everything. For example, I revamped United States Congress in September 2010. Compare what it looked like in August versus September and you'll see huge improvement.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 13:20, 17 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm planning to revamp this soon. I'll find a sandbox and will post a proposed revamped article there so people can share their thinking and see it before it goes live. If people have thoughts about this please let me know. Generally I don't cut anything, but expand (perhaps reorder) and copyedit, and try to add more pictures and diagrams. Probably within a week I'll get around to this.--Tomwsulcer (talk) 19:13, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to add a little bit more about the history section, since the major developments in the field (i.e., post 1980) are not mentioned very much. Here's what I was thinking:

Behavioral economics received a major boost in the early 1980s, when the Russell Sage and Alfred P. Sloan Foundations founded a program to study the intersection of psychology and behavioral economics. Daniel Kahneman, a pscyhologist, has traced the "birth of behavioral economics" to a meeting with Amos Tversky and Eric Wanner (the future head of the Russell Sage Foundation) at a conference in Rochester in 1983-1984:

Amos Tversky and I met Eric at a conference on Cognitive Science in Rochester, where he invited us to have a beer and discuss his idea of bringing together psychology and economics. He asked how a foundation could help. We both remember my answer. I told him that this was not a project on which it was possible to spend a lot of money honestly. More importantly, I told him that it was futile to support psychologists who wanted to influence economics. The people who needed support were economists who were willing to be influenced. Indeed, the first grant that the Russell Sage Foundation made in that area allowed Dick Thaler to spend a year with me in Vancouver. This was 1983-1984, which was a very good year for behavioral economics.:[1]

The field of behavioral economics grew in the 1990s in part thanks to a biannual summer institute set up by the Russell Sage Foundation. Conceived by Kahneman, the two-week workshop trained graduates who are now leading scholars in the field, including David Laibson and Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard University.[2]

In a 2011 address to the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Wanner said an article by Kahneman and Tversky on prospect theory in Econometrica sparked his interest in the subject:

I thought if we can really show that there are systematic departures away from normative rationality, this should have market consequences. Always before, and the economists know...psychologists had been muttering darkly about how human psychology was not real, it did not conform to rational norms. And the economists sort of buzzed it off and said, “Yeah but, you know, it is just sort of psychological noise around a rational means, so get away and don’t bother us.” What Kahneman and Tversky showed was that there were systematic distortions and that these systematic distortions are robust. You just cannot talk people out of them and there are certain conditions under which the market will not deprive them of them, either. So it was on the basis of that that we began to go ahead and say okay, just how are people less than rational and what are the market implications? Not just show me that they are less than rational but show me, give me, build me a model of market behavior which is superior to conventional models.:[3]

Does this work?

Copyvio?[edit]

Certainly needs better referencing; but I suspect there is copyvio in the text. Tony (talk) 03:04, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Kahneman's photo[edit]

Replace by somebody else's? There are abnormally many photos of Kahneman in economics articles (have seen at least 5-6 recently), hardly ever anybody else's photos, although many people have contributed to the field. If we strive for objectivity, we should not give some people such preferential treatment. Sigma0 1 (talk) 23:47, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Sure, how about Tversky, Rubinstein or perhaps Ariely? Ha, just noticed there also seems to be some Israeli bias in behavioral economics, but as long as there is just one picture it shouldn't be a problem. --Masalih (talk) 11:17, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

Behavioural theory of the firm[edit]

I think some substantial referencing to the work of Herbert Simon and Richard Cyert and James March and their Behavioural theory of the firm might be usefully included in this article. The old entry in the Palgrave Dictionary of econnomics http://digitalcollections.library.cmu.edu/awweb/awarchive?type=file&item=37955 gives a completely different slant on this topic that this article. This makes me think this article might be a bit too narrow. I think the splitting off of behavioural finance might be useful. But such a substantial restructuring with both the original and the new behavioural economics might be tricky. (Msrasnw (talk) 13:35, 31 October 2013 (UTC))

C. W. Tom reference[edit]

I removed the following source from the article since it was not added with attention to its particular content. Rather than simply promoting it as a source, please summarize it and use the reference to support the summary.

  • Lin, Tom C. W., A Behavioral Framework for Securities Risk (April 16, 2012). 34 Seattle University Law Review 325 (2011) . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2040946

Jojalozzo 02:03, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Kahneman, Daniel. "Master Course in Behavioral Economics". The Edge.org. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ Goldstein, Evan (November 8, 2011). "The Anatomy of Influence". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved December 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ Wanner, Eric. "Address to AAPSS, 2011". AAPSS Fellowship. AAPSS. Retrieved December 5, 2011.