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Economic Psychology

Rob Ranyard (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-92634-5
512 pages
September 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
Economic Psychology (111892634X) cover image


A comprehensive overview of contemporary economic psychology

Economic Psychology presents an accessible overview of contemporary economic psychology. The science of economic mental life and behavior is increasingly relevant as people are expected to take more responsibility for their household and personal economic decisions. The text will, in addition to reviewing current knowledge on each topic presented, consider the practical and policy implications for supporting economic decision making. Economic Psychology examines the central aspects of adult decision making in everyday life and includes the theories of economic decision making based on risk, value and affect, and theories of intertemporal choice. The text reviews the nature and behavioral consequences of economic mental representations about such things as material possessions, money and the economy. 

The editor Robert Ranyard—a noted expert on economic psychology—presents a life-span developmental approach, from childhood to old age. He also reviews the important societal issues such as charitable giving and economic sustainability. This vital resource:

  • Reviews the economic psychology in everyday life including financial behaviour such as saving and tax-paying and matters such as entrepreneurial activity
  • Offers an introduction to the field and traces the emergence of the discipline, from Adam Smith to George Katona and Herbert Simon
  • Includes information on societal issues such as charitable giving and pro-environmental behaviour
  • Considers broader perspectives on economic psychology: life-span psychological development from childhood to old age

Written for students of psychology, Economic Psychology reviews the most important information on contemporary economic psychology with a focus on individual and household economic decision making, ranging widely across financial matters such as borrowing and saving, and economic activities such as buying, trading, and working. 

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Table of Contents




List of Contributors


Part I: Fundamentals

  1. 1.                  Introduction to Economic Psychology: The Science of Economic Mental Life and Behaviour

Rob Ranyard and Vera Rita de Mello Ferreira


  1. Theories of Economic Decision Making: Risk, Value and Affect

Anton Kühberger and Michael Schulte-Mecklenbeck


  1. Future-oriented Decisions: Intertemporal Choice

Daniel Read and Marc Scholten


Part II: Research Methods

  1. Research Methods for Economic Psychology

Gerrit Antonides


  1. Assessing Psychological Dispositions and States That Can Influence Economic Behaviour

Simon McNair and W. Ray Crozier


  1. Developing, Evaluating and Using Subjective Scales of Personality, Preferences, and Well-Being: A Guide to Psychometrics for Psychologists and Economists

Alex M. Wood and Christopher J. Boyce


Part 3: Economic Mental Representations

  1. The Psychological Meaning of Money

Tomasz Zaleskiewicz, Agata Gasiorowska, and Kathleen D. Vohs


  1. Mental Accounting and Economic Behaviour

Gerrit Antonides and Rob Ranyard


  1. How Laypeople Understand Economics

David Leiser and Zeev Kril


  1. The Citizen's Judgments of Prices And Inflation

Rob Ranyard, Fabio Del Missier, Nicolao Bonini and Davide Pietroni


  1. Materialism and The Meaning of Possessions

W. Ray Crozier


Part 4: Financial Behaviour

  1. Defining and Influencing Financial Capability

Ivo Vlaev and Antony Elliott


  1. Saving Behaviour: Economic and Psychological Approaches

Ellen K. Nyhus


  1. The Psychology of Borrowing and Over-Indebtedness

Rob Ranyard, Sandie McHugh and Simon McNair


  1. Behaviour in Financial Markets

Martin Hedesström


  1. Tax Behaviour

Erich Kirchler and Erik Hoelzl


Part 5: Economic Activity

  1. Motivations to Volunteer

Bruno S. Frey and Jana Gallus


  1. Entrepreneurial Activity

Artur Domurat and Tadeusz Tyszka


  1. The Economic Psychology of Gambling

Juemin Xu and Nigel Harvey


Part 6: Life-span perspectives

  1. Economic Socialization: Childhood, Adolescence, and Early Adulthood Annette Otto and Joyce Serido


  1. Childhood Psychological Predictors of Lifelong Economic Outcomes


Mark Egan, Michael Daly and Liam Delaney


  1. The Economic Psychology of Financial Decision Making and Money Management in the Household

Stefanie J. Sonnenberg


  1. Ageing and Economic Decision Making

Wändi Bruine de Bruin


Part 7: Economic Psychology and Society

  1. Psychological Determinants of Charitable Giving

Ilana Ritov and Tehila Kogut


  1. Life Satisfaction and Emotional Well-Being: Psychological, Economic and Social Factors

Tommy Gärling and Amelie Gamble


  1. Living in Poverty: Understanding Financial Behaviours in Vulnerable Groups

Cäzilia Loibl


  1. Economic Psychology and Pro-Environmental Behaviour

Michel Handgraaf,Anouk Griffioen, Jan Willem Bolderdijk and John Thøgersen


  1. Insurance Behaviour and Society

Rob Ranyard, John Ashton and Bill Hebenton



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Author Information

ROB RANYARD is a freelance researcher and Visiting Professor affiliated to the Centre for Decision Research, University of Leeds, UK. He is the editor of A Handbook of Process Tracing Methods for Decision Research (2011) and has publishing articles in journals including The Journal of Economic Psychology. He is a well-known figure in the field, previously serving as treasurer of the International Association for Research in Economic Psychology (IAREP) and currently being the IAREP country representative for the UK.

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