Neuroeconomics ECON5146

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

Neuroeconomics is an emergent framework that seek to understand how humans make decisions by looking for brain activity and mental states underpinning decision-making processes. Neuroeconomics integrates methods, insights, designs and research horizons between the scientific study of the brain and economic theories and experiments. This course introduces students to neuroscientific contemporary technologies to show how they have been used to implement ideas, experiments, models and theories in the study of human choices. The course will begin by presenting a critical and engaging overview of how the study of decision-making processes evolved from neoclassical theory through the advent of behavioural economics in order to understand the rising necessity to complement classic measures of subjects' choices with data from neuroimaging and other methods. The module thus creates a natural synergy with topics covered by other modules in Behavioural Economics, but focusing on how they might be reappraised, updated and reassessed by looking at the working of the human brain.


Lectures (5x2hours) in 5 consecutive weeks. These are interactive lectures for which asynchronous activities will be included for preparation (e.g., online forum on Moodle).

Tutorials (2x1hour) in alternate weeks.

On campus

Requirements of Entry

Please refer to the current postgraduate prospectus at:

Excluded Courses






Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to:

- offer an introduction to the recently developed discipline of Neuroeconomics, showing students how integrating knowledge about the human brain under decision processes can cast new light on resilient economic problems and core issues.

- contextualise the emergence of this discipline at the intersection of Economics, Psychology and Neuroscience within the broader history of neoclassical and behavioural economics.

- make the case for the importance of neuroeconomics in providing new frameworks, tools and research avenues for economic research by studying the underlying neural and mental states during decisional processes.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Analyse the context and motivations behind the rise of Neuroeconomics

2. Explain how the brain works and what its role is in preference formation and decision-making

3. Identify the methods and the most common techniques used in Neuroeconomics to conduct experiments

4. Discuss the neuroscientific findings and their implications for Economics

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.