Books on Behavioral Economics

Susana Vilaça
2 min readJun 18, 2021


Understanding human behaviour has been one of my greatest passions and one of the reasons I got into UX and Service Design.

Over the years I’ve been reading a lot on the subject. I will leave here a list of books that I have read and highly recommend, and also some books on my To-Read list.

Here it goes!

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

This book is one of my favourites and shows how two systems in our brains are constantly fighting over control of our behaviour and actions, and teaches the many ways in which this leads to errors in memory, judgment and decisions, and what we can do about it.

Daniel Kahneman won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on the Prospect Theory and other findings that challenge the assumption of human rationality still prevailing in modern economic theory.

Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler

Another favourite of mine, “Misbehaving” is a book written by Richard Thaler, describing his journey in establishing the field of Behavioural Economics. It is a great place to start for anyone who is new to the field of Behavioural Economics and is interested in learning more. For those already familiar with the subject, the history and details of what inspired Thaler still make the book a very fascinating read.

Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2017 for: “…upending the longstanding notion that individuals make rational decisions about their futures and finances and helping to develop policies intended to nudge people toward altering their choices.”

Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein

This book explains how apparently insignificant details — nudges — can have major impacts on people’s behaviour. Thaler and Sunstein introduce the concepts of choice architecture and libertarian paternalism to explain where attention should be focused when faced with a decision.

Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

This was the first book I read on this subject and is about those moments when we “know” something without knowing why. In this book, Malcolm Gladwell shows how a snap judgment — a “blink” — can be more effective than a cautious decision.

My To-Read list

Hope you enjoy this list and that it may be useful for you :)

Do you also have any book recommendations on this subject? I’m always looking for sources of knowledge and inspiration!

This article was originally published on the Service Design College network.