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Behavioral Economics: Rationally Irrational

Learn how our decision making is influenced by our emotions, our relationships with others, and even the weather!

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Time & Location







About the Event


This is a 8-week virtual class using the Zoom platform.  

Tuesdays: September 6, 13, 20, 27; October 4, 11, 18, 25

6:00 - 8:00 pm CST

Classical economics requires a number of assumptions in its theories, one of the foremost of which is perfect rationality of thought and decision making. However, anyone who has interacted with another human being - or who has truthfully reflected upon our own decision making - knows that we are not always rational beings. Behavioral economics delves into how psychology influences our actions, showing that not only are we irrational, but we are irrational in predictable ways, and discusses how we can be "nudged" in the right direction.

Todd Van Orman, MBA, BFA is an Assistant Professor of Finance, and the Program Director of the Financial Services and Banking Program with the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. In this capacity, he teaches courses in Economics on both the graduate and undergraduate levels, as well as undergraduate courses in a number of financial and leadership topics, including Behavioral Finance. He holds an MBA from the University of Mary, and a Bachelor’s degree in Banking and Financial Economics from the University of North Dakota. He is in the midst of a PhD program in Personal Financial Planning through Kansas State University, where much of his research to this point has been focused in the behavioral realm. He also holds a designation as a Behavioral Financial Advisor. Prior to joining the University of Mary in 2017, Todd worked for nearly 15 years in the banking and investments industries. Outside of work, he is active in volunteering, particularly focused on financial literacy. He is a past Board president of the North Dakota Jump$tart Coalition, as well as a classroom volunteer for Junior Achievement. He also currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Bismarck Renaissance Zone Authority. In his spare time, Todd enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with his wife and daughter.


Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this {article, book, exhibition, film, program, database, report, Web resource}, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Humanities North Dakota.

However, in an increasingly polarized world, we at Humanities North Dakota believe that being open-minded is necessary to thinking critically and rationally.

Therefore, our programs and classes reflect our own open-mindedness in the inquiry, seeking, and acquiring of scholars to speak at our events and teach classes for our Public University.

To that end, we encourage our participants to join us in stepping outside our comfort zones and considering other perspectives and ideas by being open-minded while attending HND events featuring scholars who hold a variety of opinions, some being opposite of our own held beliefs.

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