Behavioural Mechanisms in the Social Sciences, 7.5 credits (771A14)

Beteendemekanismer i samhällsvetenskapen, 7.5 hp

Course description

This course will explore a broad range of mechanisms to explain human behavior at the individual level. It covers rational choice explanations of action, heuristic decision-making, such as satisficing, and cognitive biases that influence behavior. The material is interdisciplinary and may draw from fields such as sociology, economics, psychology, and neuroscience. The focus is placed on the micro foundations of behavior, but presented within the context of linking the micro-actions of social actors to macro-social outcomes.

Main field of study

Computational Social Science

Level

Second cycle

Course type

Single subject course

Examiner

Sarah Valdez

Course coordinator

Sarah Valdez

Director of studies or equivalent

Maria Brandén

Available for exchange students

Yes

Contact

Maria Brandén, director of studies

Sarah Valdez, course director

Course offered for Semester Weeks Language Campus VOF
Single subject course (Half-time, Day-time) Autumn 2019 v201944-202003 English Norrköping
Single subject course (Half-time, Day-time) Autumn 2019 v201944-202003 English Norrköping

Main field of study

Computational Social Science

Course level

Second cycle

Advancement level

A1X

Entry requirements

A bachelor's degree or equivalent in social science, physical science, biological science, engineering, statistics or math.
English corresponding to the level of English in Swedish upper secondary education (English 6/B).

Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course, the student should at an advanced level be able to:

  • formulate explanations of behavior based on the underlying cognitive mechanisms;
  • evaluate compatibilities and incompatibilities between various mechanistic explanations of behavior;
  • generalize specific behaviors into larger theoretical frameworks to explain social action;
  • draw from various theoretical approaches to hypothesize specific behaviors under various social conditions;
  • construct theoretical models that link micro-level behaviors to macro-level outcomes.

Course content

This course will explore a broad range of mechanisms to explain human behavior at the individual level. It covers rational choice explanations of action, heuristic decision-making, such as satisficing, and cognitive biases that influence behavior. The material is interdisciplinary and may draw from fields such as sociology, economics, psychology, and neuroscience. The focus is placed on the micro foundations of behavior, but presented within the context of linking the micro-actions of social actors to macro-social outcomes.

Teaching and working methods

The teaching consists of lectures, readings, and seminars. Homework and independent studies are a necessary complement to the course.
Language of instruction: English.

Examination

The course is examined through written assignments, active participation in seminars, and a written individual final assignment. Detailed information about the examination can be found in the course's study guide.

Students failing an exam covering either the entire course or part of the course twice are entitled to have a new examiner appointed for the reexamination.

Students who have passed an examination may not retake it in order to improve their grades.

Grades

ECTS, EC

Other information

Planning and implementation of a course must take its starting point in the wording of the syllabus. The course evaluation included in each course must therefore take up the question how well the course agrees with the syllabus. 

The course is carried out in such a way that both men´s and women´s experience and knowledge is made visible and developed.

Department

Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling

Books

Hedström, Peter, Swedberg, Richard, (1998) Social mechanisms : an analytical approach to social theory Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1998

Read "Social Mechanisms: An Introductory Essay"

Manzo, Gianluca, (2014) Analytical sociology. actions and networks John Wiley & Sons

Read ”Analytical Sociology and Rational Choice Theory.” Pp. 57–70

Articles

Akerlof, George, Behavioral Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Behavior American Economic Review 92(3): 41-433

https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdf/10.1257/00028280260136192

Andrew Healy, Gabriel S. Lenz, Substituting the End for the Whole: Why Voters Respond Primarily to the Election-Year Economy, American Journal of Political Science 2014, 58(1): 31-47

https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12053

Ap Dijksterhuis, Maarten W. Bos, Loran F. Nordgren, Rick B. van Baaren, On Making the Right Choice: The Deliberation-without-Attention Effect, Science 2006, 311(5736): 1005-1007

https://www.dc.uba.ar/materias/incc/2015/c2/practicas/p1/The Deliberation-Without_Attention.pdf

Bearman, P. S., Moody, J., Stovel, K., Chains of Affection: The Structure of Adolescent Romantic and Sexual Networks, 2004

http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/386272%0Ahttp:/about.jstor.org/terms

Biggart, N.W., Beamish, T.D., Biggart, N.W., Beamish, T.D., The economic sociology of conventions: Habit, Custom, Practice, and Routine in Market Order, Annual Review of Sociology 2003, 29(1): 443-464

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nicole_Biggart/publication/228542851_The_Economic_Sociology_of_Conventions_Habit_Custom_Practice_and_Routine_in_Market_Order/links/004635241a361203f7000000/The-Economic-Sociology-of-Conventions-Habit-Custom-Practice-and-Routine-in-Market-Order.pdf

Breen, R, Goldthorpe, JH, Explaining educational differentials - Towards a formal rational action theory, Rationality and Society 2003, 9(3): 275-305

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/104346397009003002

Brewer, Marilyn B., In-group bias in the minimal intergroup situation: A cognitive-motivational analysis, Psychological Bulletin 1979, 86(2):307-324

http://web.mit.edu/curhan/www/docs/Articles/biases/86_Psychological_Behavior_307_Marrilynn_Brewer.pdf

Debra Friedman, Michael Hechter, The Contribution of Rational Choice Theory to Macrosociological Research, Sociological Theory 1988, 6(2): 201-18

https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/202116.pdf

Dimaggio, Paul, Culture and Cognition American Journal of Political Science 1997, 58(1): 31-47

https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2952552.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A9ebcc89ffd16585d7e1622689c7857c1

Fehr, E., Gintis, H., Human motivation and social cooperation: Experimental and analytical foundations, Annual Review of Sociology 2007, 33(1): 43-64

http://www.umass.edu/preferen/gintis/Human Nature and Social Cooperation.pdf

Hedström, Peter, Ylikoski, Petri., Causal mechanisms in the social sciences, Annual Review of Sociology 2014, 36:49-67

https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.soc.012809.102632

Hertwig, R., & Herzog, S. M., Fast and frugal heuristics: Tools for social rationality Social Cognition 27(5), 661–698

http://library.mpib-berlin.mpg.de/ft/rh/RH_Fast_2009.pdf

Kahneman, Daniel, Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics American Economic Review 93(5): 1449-75

https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/000282803322655392

Lehman, Darrin R., Chi-yue Chiu, Schaller, Mark, The Emperor’s Dilemma: A Computational Model of Self‐Enforcing Norms, American Journal of Political Science 2005, 58(1): 31-47

https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/10.1086/427321.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3Af957eaa290904f92b8ffae225507928c

Ozan Aksoy, Diego Gambetta, BehInd the Veil: The Strategic Use of Religious Garb European Sociological Review 32(6):792–806

https://academic.oup.com/esr/article/32/6/792/2525510

Pettigrew, Thomas F., Future directions for intergroup contact theory and research, International Journal of Intercultural Relations 2008 32(3):187-199

https://ac.els-cdn.com/S0147176708000035/1-s2.0-S0147176708000035-main.pdf?_tid=5ebcb10f-2ee2-43cc-9fbb-5a916ca8f2ad&acdnat=1535634568_3bc47ab5fe4953012978f96479d30d3f

Schwartz, B., et al, Maximizing versus satisficing: happiness is a matter of choice, Journal of personality and social psychology 2002, 83(5): 1178-1197

http://blogs.ubc.ca/katewhite/files/2017/10/Schwartz-B.-Ward-A.-Monterosso-J.-Lyubomirsky

Sheldon Stryker, Peter J. Burke, The Past, Present, and Future of an Identity Theory Social Psychology 2000, 63(4): 284-297

https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2695840.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A1389be4e77a91819712bb30f0e42bc22

Simon, H.A., Invariants of human behavior, Annual Review of Psychology 1990, 41(1):1-19

https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.ps.41.020190.000245

Vaisey, Stephen, Motivation and justification: A dual-process model of culture in action, American Journal of Sociology 2009, 114(6): 1675-1715

https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/10.1086/597179.pdf?casa_token=X-NvOHQDzMwAAAAA:yuGDnXaJHHyN1nbr_aE9nX7HIywvygT8SWxHMRo3NIRuD2T6StXMUGoW2DmgProOUCefLKEItyCPH1-DPyB7MGxwewdUimDaUULqaMKD_ArU_7-6bsvb

Valdez, Sarah, Visibility and Votes: A Spatial Analysis of Anti-immigrant Voting in Sweden, 2014, 2(2):162-188

https://academic.oup.com/migration/article/2/2/162/975212

SPRO Final project EC 4 credits
HEM1 Take home exam EC 2 credits
GRP1 Group examination EC 1 credits
OBL2 Mandatory Seminars EC 0.5 credits

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