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Research Methods – The Economics of Psychology

5. Economic Applications of Psychology

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about the economic applications of psychological research, focusing in particular on: (i) the power of defaults in influencing people’s buying decisions; (ii) a real world example of setting the default energy supplier to one that is better for the environment, leading to that being the most popularly selected option; (iii) the commonly seen ‘optional service charge’ which is added to the bill at some restaurants, which results in a greater number of people tipping, due to it being an awkward interaction to remove it; (iv) the role of social psychology in research investigating the health service savings when people sign up to sports clubs, versus being given drug treatments.


In this course, Dr Ayoub Bouguettaya (University of Birmingham) explores the procedures and economics of the psychology research process. In the first lecture, we think about why understanding the processes of psychological research is important. In the second lecture, we think about the lifecycle of a research project, from developing an idea, to a funded project, to publishing your findings. In the third lecture, we think about funding, including where that funding might come from and exactly what it pays for. Next, we think about why findings are published in the journals they are, and the metrics that can be monitored after publication. In the fifth lecture, we think about some economic applications of psychology research, including utilising defaults to influence people’s selections. In the sixth and final lecture, we think about some controversies and questions within this field, including whether governments should be allowed to use psychology on their own citizens.


Dr Ayoub Bouguettaya is a lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham. Dr Bouguettaya’s research interests are in social psychology and how knowledge from that field can be applied to others, particularly health, including how we can apply social identity theory to societal problems, as well as investigating the different perspectives one might take on those issues. Some of Dr Bouguettaya’s recent publications include 'The relationship between gambling advertising and gambling attitudes, intentions and behaviours: a critical and meta-analytic review' (2020) and 'The Effect of a Food Addiction Explanation Model for Weight Control and Obesity on Weight Stigma' (2020).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Bouguettaya, A. (2022, April 20). Research Methods – The Economics of Psychology - Economic Applications of Psychology [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bouguettaya, A. "Research Methods – The Economics of Psychology – Economic Applications of Psychology." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 20 Apr 2022,

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