Behavioral Economic Theory

Behavioral economic theory integrates the principles and empirical methods from psychology and economics to understand how humans and animals make decisions about what to do and how to spend their time and other important resources such as money. Behavioral economic theory is relevant to clinical and abnormal psychology because it provides a widely applicable framework for understanding how patterns of “pathological” or maladaptive behavior such as overeating, drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, gambling, and other mental health disorders develop and are maintained. It has also been increasingly applied to efforts to change (reduce) maladaptive behaviors and increase desired ones. This entry provides a brief introduction to behavioral economic theory, provides a detailed summary of behavioral economic research on substance abuse and addictive behavior, ...

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