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Behavioural Economics

Course Guide

Why people do what they do and how to influence them

Well you may think we are all perfectly rational people, making logical decisions, but this is simply not quite so, we all act and behave in rather interesting ways.

In this course you will quickly and easily master the key behavioural change concepts such as nudging, framing, social proof, scarcity, commitment devices and even the ethics behind it all.

On completion you will be equipped with the power look at the world from a new perspective. Problems and obstacles will become obvious to you, but baffle others for years to come, enabling you to create enormous effects and shifts in outcomes by changing very little.

If you ever have to sell ideas, products or services, get people on your side, or simply wish you had the ability to view the world differently, then this is for you.

Join thousands of others and start today.

Key Skills Learned

  • Make better decisions
  • Recognise your own biases
  • Steer people towards desired outcomes
  • Identify and solve big wins with little effort

Who is this for?

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Management teams
  • Marketers
  • Adult homo sapiens


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Remi C.


42courses is one of the best e-learning platforms. Enjoy the ride.

James S.

United Kingdom

Very accessible and entertaining, thoroughly recommended.

Hannah T.


Happy I joined. I really enjoyed the interesting case studies and handy tips that you can look back on.

Magnus H.


So glad I signed up! The variety of techniques to test your understanding is great and the team behind the scenes even better.

Diana M.

South Africa

Glad I took the leap! Not only educational but also entertaining, which is still very rare these days.



Our understanding of how the brain works has progressed a great deal in recent years. Learn the basics of how the human brain works so that you can use it better and look after it for longer.


Learn how indirect suggestive actions and positive reinforcement often Nudge our decision making processes. This is often more effective than direct instruction, legislation or enforcement.


Framing deals with how choices can be put across in a way that highlights the positive or negative aspects of the same decision. This influences how we perceive many things in life..


How other people act and behave strongly influences our own behaviour. We are herd animals, and make decisions based on what those around us are doing.


As humans we like to go with the flow of preset options. Thinking is cognitively effortful, so when we’re recommended an option, or being told that it’s the go to (or ‘default’) option; we’ll often take the path of least resistance.


Humans want what they can’t have. People value things more highly when they believe those items to be rare or a scarce resource.


Our actions in life are often influenced by subconscious cues. This topic will help you understand how to identify and use priming techniques in your everyday life.


Learn about how the choices we commit to in the present can influence or restrict our behaviour in the future.


In this topic you will learn about the importance of experimentation and the ethical (or unethical) ways in which we can influence or measure them.

Meet your

Thought leaders

Rory Sutherland

World leading proponent of Behavioural Economics, Rory Sutherland, kick-started the field when he lead his presidency agenda at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising in London. Affectionately known as the Wiki Man and self proclaimed fat bloke at Ogilvy, Rory is an award winning ‘behavioural impressario’ and a natural at communicating new ideas.

Twitter: @rorysutherland

Dan Bennett

A psychologist by training and Ogilvy Change’s first ‘Choice Architect’. Dan has been published in scientific journals and applied behavioural economics to over 50 of the world’s leading brands, picking up three Nudge Awards in 2015.

Twitter: @danbenyork

Ogilvy Consulting

Ogilvy Consulting develops and executes behavioural strategies across multiple disciplines. A dedicated team of Behavioural Strategists apply the latest academic thinking in social psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology and behavioural economics to a variety of problems. From creating a hand-stamp that brought down incidence of dirty hands in a food factory by 63%, to saving a business £1.9M in retained customers just by optimising call centre agents and scripts, they help clients unlock unseen opportunities.

Twitter: @OgilvyConsultUK

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What people are saying

Magnus G.


I just wanted to say that I really liked the course in BE. I like the content and I really like how the course was set up. If you ever would consider to translate the whole thing into Swedish, I´d love to help out.

Natasha C.

United Kingdom

Had great fun doing the course. The certificate at the end was a nice surprise.

Robert S.

United Kingdom

This is an excellent introductory course to Behavioural Economics, perfect for anyone who already knows the basics or are completely new to the topic. The topics are complementary and overlapping, so I would recommend completing this course in a short time frame.

Melanie P.


Instantly useful! The gold standard in online training.... if only you could complete your postgrad courses this way! - Rating 5 for me worth every cent.

John B.

South Africa

Thoroughly enjoyed the BE course! Enjoyed the way it allowed easy learning through video, and self-reading, whilst tracking progress and testing concepts that were grasped as you go along. It's a fantastic and most importantly fun way to learn something new.

Tom K.

United States

An excellent primer for behavioral economics! Engaging, informative, varied, and very well researched; an excellent orientation to this fascinating field of study.

Nicola R.

South Africa

The Behavioural Economics course constantly surprised with me the most wonderful learnings and insight into human beings and the way we've built our world around us. Refreshingly put together, the content is short & sweet enough to be brilliantly interesting with enough depth and variety of sources for you to explore much further if you desire. Highly recommended! The way 42Courses deliver their courses is fantastically interesting, diverse and ultimately engaging. It's not often that one actually finishes an online course, but their courses have enough 'oh wow' moments to keep you engaged and feeling like you just need to get to the next level to discover more and more inspiring things (basically they've nailed gamification). Their courses are perfect for the curious.

Darren W.

United Kingdom

This course was recommended to me by a colleague and was really good value for money. I found the course really interesting and will be bringing as many aspects as I can into the area work in. I was particularly entertained by Rory and a few of the TED presenters - I could sit for hours listening to them talk!

Hemal T.

United Kingdom

Behavioural Economics by 42courses is truly fascinating and valuable. Seriously, it is brilliantly delivered. Highly recommended! Rating: 5 out of 5

Shauna B.

United States

As a copywriter with a lot of healthcare clients, I found that the topics covered in this class were extremely helpful for guiding audiences into making better health choices. Thank you!

Steve H.

United Kingdom

After seeing Rory Sutherland give a talk I was interested to find out more. The Behavioural Economics course is fascinating, informative and will give you insight into how YOU behave and are affected by outside influences. Give it a go. My thanks to Ogilvy and

Michael R.

United Kingdom

The material collated and produced for the Behavioural Economics course is first class. I thoroughly enjoyed videos produced by Rory Sutherland and Ogilvy. Additionally, the platform from 42Courses is one of the best MOOC services I’ve come across. The variety of techniques to test your understand are good and the team behind the scenes even better.

Magnus H.


I thought all online learning sites were the same until I landed on this site. It's as easy and entertaining as learning can be. Will definitely come back to look for more courses!

Remi C.


Behavioural Economics (BE) principles can be scary at times, if you want to learn or hone your knowledge from an array of examples and one of the most entertaining and sharpest minds in advertising, stop looking. The 42courses website is one of the best e-learning platforms. Enjoy the BE ride.

Bradley C.


Elearning on your time, in a fun way, with bite sized topics works for me!

L L.


I liked the fact that the course had a good built up, that's why I ordered another one. Also like the gamification, but I’m not sure about the style of that. It looks a bit childish to be honest. I’ve learned a lot by the examples from other people you need to upvote. What sometimes disconnected me from the course were the links. When reading a chapter I don’t want to continue or answer the questions until I've read all those links, and then the short course becomes very elaborate. When having a question that needs to be marked by a human its very fast. It's appreciated because that bar needs to become green the sooner the better. The same as having a question through social, as you have heard from me a couple of times. The daily social media updates are very interesting. Would I recommend you to friends? Yes absolutely, cause of the size and idea of gamification. Now even more because of the extra stuff you send me, it feels not like I’m a number. But hey, I’m number 42 in the world ranks!

Jason B.

United Kingdom

The Behavioural Economics course is not just a great learning experience but also great value for money! I found it has already given me another area to consider when approaching media planning and buying, as well as how I perceive everyday scenarios. Rory's videos get across all of the necessary learning in bite sized bits and are delivered with a bit of humour, which encourages you to keep progressing. I look forward to undertaking the rest of the courses when they are ready!

Dave D.

South Africa

The course was a delight from beginning to end, and all the little behavioural nudges you apply to keep your students motivated are an excellent proof of the applied value of the content.

James S.

United Kingdom

Several KPMG colleagues and I decided to take the Behavioural Economics course. We found it useful and engaging - particularly due to the style of the online content delivery. OgilvyChange and Rory Sutherland make the topic very accessible and entertaining - it's great to have such an industry specialist providing the content for this type of course.

Dane H.

United Kingdom

42courses and OgilvyChange has tapped into something unique; Making learning fun, fascinating & convenient. Rich with deep insight & research on human behaviour and how people can be motivated, presented by some of the brightest minds and served to you conveniently via mobile, turning mindless mobile browsing into mindful certification. Looking forward to more from the gang at 42courses.

Nick B.

South Africa

The Behavioural Economics course was a great introduction to the fundamentals. Don't get me wrong, it was by no means elementary, it was packed full of awesome content and insights immersing you in this fascinating approach to dealing with ourselves and others.

Piotr K.


All while being a digital learning experience, the human component made it all more delightful, whether through Rory Sutherland's videos, or the team's technical and intellectual support. Strongly recommended to anyone interested in human behaviour.

Joe B.

Hong Kong

I found the course informative, creative, absorbing. The links kept me interested and it moved at a pace that allowed me to feel satisfied and feel that I as gaining a new skill set.

Leigh A.

South Africa

Course content itself was absolutely fantastic. Nerve-wracking submitting my own written responses and examples but that really made the learning sink in, especially as responses were marked so promptly. Opened my eyes to how subtle cues to guide consumer behaviour are actually everywhere! The content on whether language guides thought was especially interesting. Did my psychology honours so this is a true passion of mine. Also loved that the extra reading and videos let me go into as much detail as I wanted on the individual sections, I could spend 10 minutes or all week on a single question. Have even signed up with the Headspace app! An honest 5/5.

Alexander S.


I thoroughly enjoyed taking the course on account of the accessible way with which it introduces key ideas from the discipline of behavioural economics to people who are interested in the discipline’s commercial application. I thoroughly enjoyed the interactive component of the course as well; it was great having my learnings tested at the end of each topic. I did think that some of the questions were a little bit too easy though (such as the multiple choice questions where you would have to simply answer the question with a specific year), and so perhaps it’d be good to make the questions a bit more challenging. I would nevertheless rate the course as a 4/5 (with 5 being the best on this hypothetical rating scheme). Well done on curating such an enjoyable course!

Rory B.

United Kingdom

I cannot recommend Ogilvy's Behavioural Economics course highly enough. The content is well thought out and engaging and the way in which it is presented encourages you down a wonderful rabbit hole of discovery, which means you can learn as much or as little as you want and your time allows. Having no time pressure meant I could fit it in around my work and learn at my own pace. I loved it! Outside of the course itself I can’t thank Chris Rawlinson enough for his personal encouragement and assistance throughout. A wonderful course to spark your interest.

Johan L.


I’d been thinking of going into the field of Behavioral Economics for quite some time when I came across this course by Rory Sutherland. It proved to be interesting, entertaining and full of insights that I can actually put to practical use. The scope is perfect for an introductory course and I would recommend it to anyone getting started in Behavioral Economics. Oh, you’d better hurry if you want to sign up, there are probably only a few seats left.

Gabriel I.


I am very happy with the course. I sincerely like a lot the way Rory presents his ideas and I feel that his insights are very powerful as he always offers clear and “sticky” examples. As a former CEO of a South American TV station, I feel very related with his approach to Behavioural Economics. Congratulations for the set of resources you put together in this course, and I will be very happy to take another course like this.

Charlotte B.

United Kingdom

I love the course and have found it invaluable by way of providing insights and a new way of thinking of apply to my career in marketing. Really easy to digest and the right balance of video and article content. Thank-you!

Mateo A.


In the matter of the course I have to say it was amazing, every single line was wisely constructed, every second of the videos you guys brought and Rory made we completely interesting, from 1 to 5 I would rate the course with a 5, I found it amazing, and I loved the 42courses system, even though I had already studied for a while the topic I discovered a lot of new stuff.

Magda B.

United Kingdom

Excellent stuff. Made my morning commute more bearable.

Yvone D.


Thank you, the course was very informative. I have already applied some of the things I have learned into my workplace.

Alan B.

United Kingdom

The course was great, I've watched some of Rory's talks before and have read thinking fast thinking slow, so had a basic grasp of the subject, but was a really nice process to go through to discover more and read some interesting papers that I doubt I would have found otherwise, and also having the tests to make me think of my own examples, good work! Now for me to start making my way through the suggested reading.

Thomas C.

United Kingdom

As a practitioner I'm looking for something that gives me quick, actionable tips - whilst also being enjoyable. This course delivers in spades, whilst being devilishly addictive. It's like having Rory sat with you in a bar sharing his vast knowledge of the subject, without having to pick up the bill. In fact it's almost criminal that it's all available for less than a decent meal out. The combined value of the interventions featured in this course probably run into the billions, find out how to replicate them before your competitors do. The certificate is a nice addition to the mantelpiece too

Jefferson M.


I enjoyed every bit of Rory's Behavioral Economics masterclass. I have done online learning before but you guys take online learning to a whole new level. I could see some of the behavioral science concepts integrated into the learning experience and it was a learning in itself too. Marvelous. On a scale of 1 - 5, I would give my learning experience at least a 4.7. Looking forward to my next course.

Daniel B.

United Kingdom

One of the best things about the course is I actually feel like I'm learning with people, even though it's e-learning. It's that presence of doing it with others that makes it easier and more engaging for me to complete.

Zsa P.

South Africa

Finally! A complete course on Behavioural Economics that doesn’t require 6 prerequisite degrees or make you feel stupid.

Camilla S.

South Africa

Some of the things I learned from this course have already come in handy in my day job working in tech and banking, The mix of video, pictures text and links made it much more interesting and interactive + always great learning anything from Rory Sutherland.

Ian H.

United Kingdom

If you're looking for a fast-track (and fun) course to help understand why humans make the choices they do and how you can (ethically) influence customers/readers...Then Behavioural economics with OgilvyChange is your ticket to more sales. 5 out of 5 for this course.

Eloise D.


Loved learning about Behavioural Economics, thought it might be complicated but was quick and easy to understand and have framed my certificate, so good.

Danté P.

United Kingdom

One of the most interesting courses I've taken + had the added benefit of actually being fun to take.

Tim H.


Behavioural Economics presented in an accessible, intelligent and inspiring way. Very suitable for creatives.

Diyana S.


The platform is interactive and user-friendly. The content is engaging. It is detailed enough, yet on-point which is important for online learning. The examples shared were very interesting and memorable which allows me to apply the concepts at work. Great recommendations on books to read to learn more about the topic. Would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to understand the human behaviour better.

Patrick C.


I really enjoyed the course. I have read books like "Nudge" and "Thinking Fast and Slow", but I found the real examples and videos that were provided really helpful to cement learning on a fascinating subject.

Steve D.

United Kingdom

All in all, the course was really great (perhaps indicated by the speed I completed it!) I really enjoy learning from Rory through his speeches and this course was a great extension of that. I think I'll be able to apply lots of this stuff to my daily work as a designer. Please pass on my positive feedback to Rory, Dan, Ciosa and the team who worked on this course.

Donald M.

United Kingdom

The course is a great introduction to this important and influential subject. It provides a comprehensive overview and allows access to a range of really good resources as well as being well organised and easy to use. I am happy to give it 5 out of 5!

Sarah B.

United Kingdom

When I signed up to 42 courses I knew it was going to be good but my expectations were completely blown out of the water.. the gamification format makes your course addictive and so much easier to soak up what you're learning. Can't wait to apply all my new knowledge (now I know 'enough to be dangerous'..!!) and will definitely be signing up for more - there's no such thing as learning too much!

Spencer M.

United Kingdom

I thoroughly enjoyed doing the course and thought it was fun and engaging as well as educational and informative. Not an easy combination to pull off so hats off to you and the team. Looking forward to some new courses being added.

Andra N.

United States

Impeccable learning experience. The material is carefully curated and extremely engaging. The combo of articles, videos and research papers makes it easy to approach learning in diverse ways. The subject matter is clearly and cleverly presented and offers the possibility of exploring further through endless online resources. Overall, it is the best online course I have taken in a while and I am looking forward to many more classes offered by these talented humans & co.

Keith F.


Ever wondered why some poeple just do not behave in a seemingly rational logical pattern? You don't need to be an economist or psychologist to understand all this, all you need is a genuine curiosity as to why people behave the way they do. This short course is not going to boost your earnings 100%, but I 100% guarantee it will make you question certain things you thought you knew about yourself!

Astrid K.


I really enjoyed your Behavioural Economics module: a stimulating mix of academic facts, practical experiments and personal understandings. One persistently experiences the subtle influence of the powerful techniques presented while running through the lectures. A great work out for your senses, easily transferable to your daily lives! Keep on going!

Grant B.

United Kingdom

This course is engaging, stimulating and I would even say entertaining thanks to the appearance of Rory Sutherland’s videos at stages throughout the course. The mix of question types and techniques to encourage you to discover more about the subject under your own steam means that you explore a wide variety of sources, efficiently packing in a lot of learning over what can be a short time commitment. This is definitely a great resource for anyone interested in why we behave the way we do and what it means for the world we live in.

David H.

United Kingdom

'Behavioural Economics’ from Ogilvy really helped develop my knowledge of a fascinating field. I have made this course compulsory for all of my marketing team!

Johanna S.

South Africa

I've always known Behavioural Economics is powerful and Rory Sutherland and OgilvyChange just proved that to me! I've already started crafting my projects using what I learned to better communicate to our community... and it's working!

Aiden C.

United Kingdom

I liked 42Courses’ Behavioural Economics Course as much as the next man because social norms are a powerful coercive tactic.

Alana H.

New Zealand

If you are interested in the psychological, social and cognitive factors that go into economic decision making then this is the course for you. I really enjoyed it.

Tamara O.


This was a very insightful, easy to learn and practical course. The reality of the facts were easy to identify with and relate to. Showcasing how powerful having the understanding and being able to implement the learnings can impact decision-making processes. A straight 5 stars for me.

Edoardo M.


I love this course, really well done, full of selected articles and simple and effective explanations. Rory's videos are also very funny. The use of gamification is very useful because entice you to move forward from chapter to chapter. I have a passion for this discipline and I would like to deepen my studies in this direction.

Dawood H.


My experience with 42Courses has been amazing. The course presentation is very clear, content very lucid and the team always helpful. As always, Rory was fun and insightful.

Chantelle H.

South Africa

This one is really a great topic from which I have gained a useful knowledge, this is a course I would definitely be recommended to others.

Mohenesh B.

Sri Lanka

Nudging, Priming, Framing, Anchoring!!! Don’t know what they mean? Learn about these and many more Behavioral Economics Principles from the best minds in the world. Who said learning can’t be fun?

Lotus Q.

United Kingdom

I really enjoyed the course. It was broken up nicely and I loved the gamification. It significantly increased my engagement and each section was long-enough to be informative but also short enough that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Angelina B.


Behavioural Economics opens your eyes to every day influences used by businesses and governments. The course is presented in a fun and bite-sized way that makes it a breeze to delve into, and encourages you to explore further.

Belinda M.

South Africa

I loved the course, it didn’t feel like a grind. I’ve also managed to trot out some of the terminology during meetings and look super clever 😉. The only thing I thought was missing, was written documentation. Now I have it! I give the course 5 out of 5 and will definitely sign up for another.

Helena K.


The course is great! It’s concise, nicely structured and gives the overview of the behavioural change concepts. The course also makes you think and look for examples in everyday life which makes you more aware of the biases ruling over us.

millie d.

United Kingdom

I really enjoyed completing the course. The structure of question after each section ensured I had understood each topic, and the additional resources linked were very informative. Rory Sutherland’s videos were particularly inspiring. The course has revealed a topic that is relevant to my work, and I hope to be able to employ some of the tactics soon!

Sophie B.

United Kingdom

I took 42 Courses on Behavioural Economics in collaboration with Ogilvy. The course structure was fantastic, with small bite-size videos and learning for each concept. I look forward to seeing how the course series expands. For anyone wishing to continually update their skill-set 42 Courses is worth a look in!

Belinda M.

South Africa

I loved the course, it didn’t feel like a grind. I’ve also managed to trot out some of the terminology during meetings and look super clever ;) The only thing I thought was missing, was written documentation. Now I have it! (It was sent after I passed :) ) I give the course 5 out of 5 and will definitely sign up for another.

Ramanand J.


What was good: - Platform experience: I’ve used a few other MOOC platforms and this was by far the nicest and cleanest. - Design touches: very human, very friendly - I liked the content curation approach rather than having too many pieces of content created from scratch - Content coverage: I think it touched the most important parts of Behavioural Economics - Looking for examples from personal experiences helped think deeper about the material What could have been better: - Occasionally, I felt I could have done with some more depth on the content. That said, when I look at the promise of “just enough knowledge to make you dangerous”, I think this may be fine. (I also have read Nudge and Thinking, Fast and Slow and have been following some of the work by the Ogilvy Change team, so I don’t if I’m the ideal target for this kind of course) - The single question quizzes were more on the reading comprehension front than to challenge oneself. More questions would also have helped. Thanks! will be back for more, and here’s wishing 42 Courses all the best.

Bas b.


An insightful introduction into the world of influence. Nice and bite size, Good enough to get started in my own work right away.

Rohan K.


It has been an amazing experience going through the course designed by Rory & his team. It's extremely well structured for people wanting to use this approach in their own work spheres and lives. Once again, thanks for sharing knowledge.

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Behavioural Economics