Behavioural Mechanisms in the Social Sciences, 7.5 credits

Beteendemekanismer i samhällsvetenskapen, 7.5 hp


Main field of study

Computational Social Science

Course level

Second cycle

Course type

Programme course


Jacob Habinek

Course coordinator

Rodrigo Martinez Pena

Director of studies or equivalent

Carl Nordlund
ECV = Elective / Compulsory / Voluntary
Course offered for Semester Weeks Language Campus ECV
F7MCD Computational Social Science, Master's Programme - First and main admission round 1 (Autumn 2023) 202344-202403 English Norrköping, Norrköping C
F7MCD Computational Social Science, Master's Programme - Second admission round (open only for Swedish/EU students) 1 (Autumn 2023) 202344-202403 English Norrköping, Norrköping C

Main field of study

Computational Social Science

Course level

Second cycle

Advancement level


Course offered for

  • Master´s Programme in Computational Social Science

Entry requirements

  • Bachelor's degree equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen within one of the following subject areas:
    - humanities
    - cultural studies
    - social sciences
    - behavioural sciences
    - natural sciences 
    - computer sciences
    - engineering-sciences
    or equivalent
  • English corresponding to the level of English in Swedish upper secondary education (English 6)
    Exemption from Swedish

Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course, the student should at an advanced level be able to:

  • formulate explanations of behavior based on the underlying cognitive mechanisms;
  • evaluate compatibilities and incompatibilities between various mechanistic explanations of behavior;
  • generalize specific behaviors into larger theoretical frameworks to explain social action;
  • draw from various theoretical approaches to hypothesize specific behaviors under various social conditions;
  • construct theoretical models that link micro-level behaviors to macro-level outcomes.

Course content

This course will explore a broad range of mechanisms to explain human behavior at the individual level. It covers rational choice explanations of action, heuristic decision-making, such as satisficing, and cognitive biases that influence behavior. The material is interdisciplinary and may draw from fields such as sociology, economics, psychology, and neuroscience. The focus is placed on the micro foundations of behavior, but presented within the context of linking the micro-actions of social actors to macro-social outcomes.

Teaching and working methods

The teaching consists of lectures, readings, and seminars. Homework and independent studies are a necessary complement to the course.
Language of instruction: English.


The course is examined through written assignments, active participation in seminars, and a written individual final assignment. Detailed information about the examination can be found in the course's study guide.

If special circumstances prevail, and if it is possible with consideration of the nature of the compulsory component, the examiner may decide to replace the compulsory component with another equivalent component.

If the LiU coordinator for students with disabilities has granted a student the right to an adapted examination for a written examination in an examination hall, the student has the right to it.

If the coordinator has recommended for the student an adapted examination or alternative form of examination, the examiner may grant this if the examiner assesses that it is possible, based on consideration of the course objectives.

An examiner may also decide that an adapted examination or alternative form of examination if the examiner assessed that special circumstances prevail, and the examiner assesses that it is possible while maintaining the objectives of the course.

Students failing an exam covering either the entire course or part of the course twice are entitled to have a new examiner appointed for the reexamination.

Students who have passed an examination may not retake it in order to improve their grades.



Other information

Planning and implementation of a course must take its starting point in the wording of the syllabus. The course evaluation included in each course must therefore take up the question how well the course agrees with the syllabus. 

The course is conducted in such a way that there are equal opportunities with regard to sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation and age.

If special circumstances prevail, the vice-chancellor may in a special decision specify the preconditions for temporary deviations from this course syllabus, and delegate the right to take such decisions.


Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling
Code Name Scope Grading scale
EXA1 Final assignment 3.5 credits EC
GRP2 Group work 2 credits EC
UPG1 Personal journal 1 credits EC
SEM1 Seminars 1 credits EC
There is no course literature available for this course in studieinfo.

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