365-1142-00L  Understanding Human Behavior - Research and Business Insights

SemesterAutumn Semester 2020
LecturersS. Andraszewicz, B. J. Bergmann
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentExclusively for MAS MTEC students (third semester).


AbstractHuman capital is the most precious resource of every company, while customers are the backbone of a company’s functioning. This course demonstrates application of behavioral science theories to improve decision making within the company and to better understand its customers. In this course, psychology meets finance, data science and analytics to address practical business problems.
ObjectiveThe course objective is to provide a crash-course of behavioral economics and decision science with a special focus on aspects particularly important in business and international companies. The aim of the course will be to apply theoretical knowledge obtained during the classes at ETH in practical business cases stemming from ETH industry partners.
ContentThis block course is divided into three sessions:
1.Theory Part: Students get familiar with the Nobel-Prize winning theories, key concepts, models and findings in decision science and behavioral economics. The covered topics include judgment and decision making, heuristics, biases and heuristics, nudges, psychometrics, risk appetite elicitation, digital and physiological footprints of decisions, and impact of emotions and environment on decisions. The material will be aligned with relevant real-life examples that relate to important societal and business problems. The students will be introduced to the behavioral study design, behavioral analytics and research methods that can be applied in a business environment accounting for its advantages and limitations.
2. Business Insights Part: In this part students learn how the behavioral aspects enter into business processes, workflows and customer relations. An industry partner (Swiss Re) will present a business case related to behavioral science. Studetens challange these cases in gorups based on the theoretical part and guidace from lecturers. Students will form groups to solve the business case, using the knowledge acquired during the theoretical part of the course and relevant course material.
3: Final Presentation Part: This session will take place at the industry partner’s venue, where the students will present their business case solutions.

Attendance during the meetings and solving the business case are mandatory requirements for successful completion of the course. Course material includes the lecture slides and scientific papers.