• FutureLearn logo

Introduction to Behavioural Economics: Employee and Customer Behaviour

Gain the skills to promote behaviour change in your employees and customers through effective incentives.

462 enrolled on this course

Image of 2 cheerful females shopping in a mall and excited about a 50% off sale sign in a window

Introduction to Behavioural Economics: Employee and Customer Behaviour

462 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 2 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Open level

Find out more about how to join this course

Gain the skills to motivate positive behaviour change

On this three-week course, you’ll gain the skills to push for positive behavioural change in your work place.

Guided by Paul Dolan, Professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science, you’ll learn how to promote positive behaviour change in your employees through effective incentives.

Through an exploration of incentivisation, default behaviours, and commitment, you’ll learn how you can use this understanding to motivate positive behaviour change in both your employees and customers.

Explore different types of incentives

To help you choose the right incentive for your context, you’ll explore the different types, such as financial and pro-social, and assess the success of each incentive in affecting behaviour change.

Next, you’ll learn the difference between incentives and commitments and explore how you could use commitment pledges to change behaviour in the workplace.

Discover the role of mental accounting

You’ll be introduced to reference points and mental accounting to understand how they affect the success of your incentives.

Through this exploration, you’ll discover how they exert influence and why they work so effectively in anything from pension choices to hospital care.

Understand key learnings in behavioural science

By the end of the course, you’ll understand the behavioural economic factors that can influence your employees and customers.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Incentives

    • Welcome

      Welcome to Behavioural Economics: Employee and Customer Behaviour. In this first week on incentives, Paul will introduce you to the tried and tested method of changing behaviour with financial incentives.

    • Sticks and carrots for behaviour change

      In this activity, you will be able to discuss the use of different types of incentives and how well they can affect behaviour change.

    • Quirks of incentives: reference points

      In this activity, you will learn how to think about the role of reference points and mental accounting in conditioning the response to incentives.

    • Quirks of incentives: time and risk preferences

      In this activity, you will understand how to differentiate between incentives which have risk and/or time components and those which don’t, and to think about how to use both.

    • Crowding in and out, extrinsic vs intrinsic motives

      In this activity, you will be able to appreciate the relationship between financial incentives and prosocial motives.

    • Wrap up

      In this activity we will summarise what you have learned about incentives and learn a little about the topic of next week: commitments.

  • Week 2

    Commitments

    • Commitment

      In this activity, you will be able to consider how you could use commitment pledges to change your own behaviour.

    • Commitments in practice

      Here, you will consider how you could use commitment pledges to change behaviour in a professional setting and link commitments with other things you have learned in this course, such as incentives and social influences.

    • Soft and hard commitments

      In this activity, you'll discuss the different types of commitments and think about which is most appropriate in which context.

    • MINDSPACE in Practice

      In this activity, you will use everything you've learned so far from MINDSPACE and will create a behavioural intervention design relating to your workplace or a similar environment.

    • Wrap up

      In this activity we will summarise what you have learned about commitments and look forward to the next week about defaults.

  • Week 3

    Defaults

    • Commitment

      In this activity, you will be able to consider the widespread presence of defaults and the role of inertia in much of your (and others’) decision-making.

    • Defaults and pensions

      In this activity, you will be able to discuss ways to improve default options by using what you have learned in behavioural science, and will have a working knowledge of the widely used pension plans that harness defaults.

    • Why do defaults work?

      In this activity, you will think creatively about what you have learned in behavioural science and how it relates to the success of defaults.

    • Defaults and the ethics of nudging

      In this activity, you will debate and discuss the role of ethics in nudging, with special reference to the case of defaults.

    • Wrap up

      In this activity, you'll reflect on everything you've learned over the past few weeks about the application of behavioural science in the workplace.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss the use of different types of incentives and how well they can effect behaviour change.
  • Examine the role of reference points and mental accounting in conditioning the response to incentives.
  • Differentiate between incentives which have risk and/or time components and those which don’t, and think about how to use both.
  • Explore the relationship between financial incentives and pro-social motives.
  • Consider the widespread presence of defaults and the role of inertia in much of their (and others’) decision-making.
  • Discuss ways to improve default options based on key learnings in behavioural science.
  • Discuss the role of ethics in nudging, with special reference to the case of defaults.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about human behaviours and needs.

It will be particularly useful if you are a professional managing, building, or developing a team.

If you want to deepen your understanding of this subject, you may be interested in these courses. They feature similar subject matter and share the same overall learning outcomes:

Who will you learn with?

Paul is a Professor of Behavioural Science. His main research interests are human behaviour and happiness. Author of bestselling Happiness by Design and Happy Ever After, host of Duck-Rabbit podcast.

Who developed the course?

FutureLearn

FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

Ways to learn

Buy this course

Subscribe & save

Limited access

Choose the best way to learn for you!

$109/one-off payment

$39.99/month

Automatically renews

Free

Fulfill your current learning needDevelop skills to further your careerSample the course materials
Access to this courseticktick

Access expires 12 May 2024

Access to 1,000+ coursescrosstickcross
Learn at your own paceticktickcross
Discuss your learning in commentstickticktick
Tests to check your learningticktickcross
Certificate when you're eligiblePrinted and digitalDigital onlycross
Continue & Upgrade

Cancel for free anytime

Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$39.99/month

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access

Free

Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 12 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...