A Behavioral-Economics Primer

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Contribution to Book

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Reframing Health Behavior Change with Behavioral Economics


WK Bickel & R Vuchinich


Taylor & Francis

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This chapter is designed to serve as an introduction to the major concepts, measures, and methods of behavioral economics. The chapter begins with a brief history of the origin and development of behavioral economics within behavioral psychology (behavior analysis) and experimental economics. From these roots, we can begin to define the field of behavioral economics, recognizing its evolving status. In the sections that follow, 2 measures of consumer behavior frequently examined in behavioral economic experiments (consumption and spending) are outlined, followed by an overview of some of the important economic variables known to affect consumer behavior ( price, alternative sources of reinforcement, discounting delayed consequences, and income). Throughout these sections, behavioral economic methods, principles, concepts, and measures are introduced and their relevance to a more thorough understanding of health behaviors is discussed.


Originally published by Psychology Press (Part of Taylor and Francis). Limited preview available through remote link. Book can be purchased through the publisher.