Faculty of Business and Economics

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Business and Economics

Organisational Unit

Department of Banking and Finance



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


Historically, investment and finance decisions have been made with the assumption that financial markets are informationally efficient. This unit will explore the notion that market efficiency assumptions are idealistic by bringing in the concepts of psychology, sociology, and behavioural economics and how the investor mind works in a broader societal setting. This will allow for better understanding of the investor's mind, resulting in intelligent investment practices. This unit is interdisciplinary, encompassing areas such as financial economics and cognitive sciences with both experimental and theoretical components.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  1. apply the conventional assumptions learned from mainstream finance theories and demonstrate the extent to which these assumptions do not hold when examined in a behavioural context
  2. understand how cognitive biases can predictably and consistently affect investment decision and how they can contradict the notion of investor rationality
  3. understanding how these behavioural biases will help develop more effective financial decision making for different market participants
  4. critically evaluate the linkage between the theoretical and empirical evidence related to behavioural finance
  5. apply critical thinking, problem solving and presentation skills to individual and/or group activities dealing with behavioural finance and demonstrate in individual summative assessment tasks the acquisition of a comprehensive understanding of the topics covered in BFW3851.


Within semester assessment: 50%
Examination: 50%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


BFC2140, BFW2631, BFC2000 or BFW1300