Student videos

Behavioural Economics at the Movies [Head Start in A-Level Economics]

  • Levels: AS, A Level, IB
  • Exam boards: AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

In this session we look at a number of movie and tv clips that help to illustrate concepts in behavioural economics.

James and Bond and Uber

Where did the original idea for Uber comes from? Some say it was a Paris snowstorm. Others say that the inspiration came from watching this James Bond film from the 1960s. See if you can find the connection!

Goldfinger DB5 Mustang Chase

Averting air disaster - the power of heuristics

Heuristics are cognitive shortcuts or rules of thumb that simplify decisions, especially under conditions of uncertainty. In the film Sully we see the pilot (played by Tom Hanks) using all of his decades of experience and his deployment of the gaze heuristic to help avoid a catastrophe as his plane is hit by a double air strike.

Sully 2016 Plane Crash Scene Landing in the Hudson River

The end credits of the film Sully brought together passengers from the actual flight in a very touching scene.

Sully End Credits Clip

And here is an amazing example of the gaze heuristic at work as a cricket fan takes an amazing catch at a one-day match in New Zealand.

Cricket fan makes incredible $4000 catch

Learning some quick heuristics can help as we see in this quick clip from Dodgeball!

The 5 D's of Dodgeball | Dodgeball (2004)

Leading Questions & Priming

This classic clip from Yes Prime Minister illustrates how priming can be used to elicit a different answer to public opinion surveys.

Leading Questions - Yes Prime Minister

Flying can be very dangerous

This clip from Rain Man on the risks of flying is a great example of the availability bias.

Rain Man (5/11) Movie CLIP - Flying's Very Dangerous

It's A Wonderful Life Bank Run

This scene from the iconic It's a Beautiful Life helps to explain how to prevent the damaging effects of herd behaviour in financial markets.

​It's A Wonderful Life Bank Run

Game Theory and a Beautiful Mind

Nash equilibrium and interdependence between agents is shown well in this clip from a Beautiful Mind

Nash Equilibrium

The Smoking Kid

Called by many "the best anti-smoking ad ever," this campaign by Ogilvy filmed children walking up to adult smokers, asking them for a light. A good example of challenging social norms of behaviour.

​The Smoking Kid

Test Yourself - Have a Go at this Quiz!

We've covered more than twenty concepts in behavioural economics during this short course. Here is a chance to test yourself on twenty of them using this Quizlet activity!

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