How to become an expert in Behavioural Economics

How to become an expert in Behavioural Economics

It is true that from a behavioral economics perspective we are fallible, easily confused, not that smart, and often irrational. We are more like Homer Simpson than Superman. So from this perspective it is rather depressing. But at the same time there is also a silver lining. There are free lunches!
— Dan Ariely

What does it take to become an expert?

The short answer is a combination of theory backed up by a lot of practice. 10,000 hours, to be exact, if you believe Malcolm Gladwell. 

Sadly, there don't seem to be any shortcuts. You've got to do the work to earn the badge. 

The hardest part is getting started on your journey.

It can be so daunting that you’re not sure where to start. However, as a wise man once said, 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.'

With this in mind, we look at the fascinating but not exactly sexy-sounding subject of Behavioural Economics, with some top resources to set you off in the right direction. 

5 books to read:

1) Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler

2) Thinking Fast, and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

3) Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

4) Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini

5) Dollars and Sense: Money Mishaps and How To Avoid Them by Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler

5 podcast episodes to listen to:

1) Michael Lewis on how behavioural economics change the world (Intelligence Squared)

 2) Pre-suasion with Robert Cialdini (The Art of Charm)

3) The Psychology of Advertising with Rory Sutherland (Farnam Street)

4) Dollars and Sense with Jeff Kreisler (O Behave)

5) Behavioural Economics with Greg Davies (The Financial Wellbeing Podcast)

6 Twitter/X handles to follow:



@R_Thaler ‏




6 TED Talks to watch:

1. Dan Ariely: Are we in control of our decisions?

2. Rory Sutherland: Sweat the small stuff

3. Alex Laskey: How behavioral science can lower your energy bill

4. Sendhil Mullainathan: Solving social problems with a nudge

5. Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs. memory

6. Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice

Alternatively, you can skip the above and take our incredibly popular online course in Behavioural Economics from the brilliant, charming and witty Rory Sutherland. 

How to become an expert in Happiness

How to become an expert in Happiness

Our Top 5 Books On Artificial Intelligence

Our Top 5 Books On Artificial Intelligence