Economic Psychology as a Science
Published on Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 at 9:08 pm and is filed under Psychological Science
Economic Psychology is a science that studies the psychology of the subject in economic relations. Basic laws of this activity reflect the subject of economic psychology. As an entity acts the individual and also the family, society, organization or even an entire nation. Thus, the object of research can be presented on a variety of levels: meso, macro and microeconomic levels. The origins of the science derived from the works of renowned economists Alfred Marshall, Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes. It is in their works that it was formed the theory of “economic man” whose main goal is to provide income and benefits.
Economic psychology as an independent science stood out in the late 70s, when the specific activity was seen as a consumer study and performance of a single entity. Since then, the structure of science is divided into three sections:
- The market, which examines the psychology of the consumer and homemaking;
- Business, which examines the behavior and psychological characteristics of the individual as an entrepreneur, negotiation, trade secret, deal-making, competition, etc.;
- Relations, which deals with the citizen and society (income, unemployment, taxes, inflation, etc.).
The study of science “economic psychology” contributes to a more thorough and current understanding of emerging economic relations and events in the development of skills of the economic and psychological patterns based on their psychological aspects. Science itself has little of its own specific methods. It can apply the methods of any branches of psychology, economic methods, the method of modeling and theoretical analysis. Often, there are used questionnaire methodology and experimental studies.
The relationship of psychological and economic effects. Problems of economic psychology
The analysis of the definitions of “psychology” and “economy” is ambiguous. On the one hand, both terms have epistemological meaning of scientific disciplines, which can be considered a variety of communication of independent science. This approach is characteristic for each economic theory. On the other hand, both terms have the psychological ontological meaning used to determine the social objective reality and the world of psychic phenomena. This raises a number of specific problems.
Given the current ideas about the functions of the psyche it can be very clearly defined also the basic problems of economic psychology, such as:
- The problems of the subjective reflection of current economic events;
- Problems of psychological regulation of economic interaction and behavior of actors and other such problems.
Thus, the subject of economic psychology supports any mental phenomenon that characterizes each individual and the group as a whole as the subject of economic interaction and behavior. In this case, the economy will have an ontological meaning and it is used to determine the scope of human existence, a kind of reality and social life. The starting point is allocated to the economic life of each subject. In this case, the economy (defined as a sphere of life or as a separate economic phenomena) is regarded as an object of psychological research.