Behavioural Insights for Policy Design in Risky and Vulnerable Situations RSK4409 


Period 5B
Start Date 13 May 2024
End Date 7 June 2024
ECTS credits 4
Instruction language English
Coordinator Rifka Weehuizen and Eleonora Nillesen
Teaching methods Assignment(s), Lecture(s), Work in subgroups, Presentation(s)
Assessment methods Exam; Presentation; Participation
Keywords Behavioural economics, social psychology, policy design, communication skills 


Full course description

The final course of the specialisation will put the concepts of risk, vulnerability, and risk management in a broader perspective. Risks are always to some extent “human-made” in terms of perceptions of facts and with relations between facts, and are thus subject to psychological and social dynamics. The extent to which possible future events are recognised, perceived, and labelled as risks, and the way they are framed, explained, and consequently managed depend on an interplay of social and psychological processes. This helps to explain the wide divergence in perceptions about what is, in essence, the same objective risk, as in the case of vaccinations, for example. By presenting relevant insights from the sociology, psychology, and economics of risk, this course intends to deepen students’ understanding of risk as a social-behavioural phenomenon, and consequently increase the options for effective risk management.

Course objectives

  • Introduce key concepts, insights. and perspectives from the sociology, psychology. and economics of risk
  • Apply concepts, insights, and perspectives to a specific given risk.
  • Develop skills for recognising and communicating relevant insights from academic research to policymakers in the area of risk.




Recommended reading

Course reader