Program Outline

The Sumer School classes will focus on:

Dual system of decision-making – are we emotional or rational driven
People do not make decisions based solely on rational analyses as this would be ineffective and non-optimal in a world of limited resources and time constraints. Moreover, as Damasio has showed, in the absence of emotions, cold rational reasoning can lead to worse outcomes than decision influenced by fear, anger or other affective states. Therefore dual system of decision-making seems to be a more efficient way to integrate emotions with rational deliberation. While this dual system serves us well in many everyday situations, it can also lead to errors. The current research helps us understand these systematic errors, predict them and even avoid them.

Dishonesty of honest people – bastards within nice people
From the point of view of traditional economic theories, decisions to violate law or act dishonestly are motivated solely by a cost-benefit analysis: what can I get by criminal or immoral behavior and what negative consequences I risk (in the case I got caught). Behavioral economics expands this view substantially: based on many psychological studies, it seems obvious that dishonest behavior is influenced by a range of many other subtle factors, from motivation to have a positive self-image, saliency of social and formal norms, to emotional states experienced in the moment of decision making. We will also discuss how to use all this knowledge in order to make people more honest in a workplace and in everyday situations.

Fairness – killing the killer
Yet another departure from traditional rational model of human being has been developed by reconsidering views on fairness in our decision-making. A certain behavior, although being rational and benefiting all concerned, is rejected by those involved as repulsive and not acceptable. Is cutting wages during the economic downturn fairer than laying people off? Can you sell the last bottle of water you brought to the Sahara desert for more than the earlier one without being lynched? Similar questions posed in classes on economics might have simple answers, however when you ask general public, you might be surprised for getting rather different answers. The course will discuss and analyze the role of fairness in human decision-making as well as valuation of these decisions by others.

Sources of the information – hoaxes or reliable information
Biases identified by behavioral research prove to have wide applications in everyday life. In general, people use the mass media as a crucial source of information and believe in unbiasedness of media, but it is not always the case. For example, some media supply rather leftist while the other stick to the rightest news.

In the same time, media supply great amount of data thanks to which we are able to study the biases of “old media” as well as new social media such as Facebook. The course answers questions of why you should read newspapers you don’t like, why your Google account makes you dumber or how to take advantage of information provided by new media.

Behavioral errors in organizations – being a very happy employee (or employer)
We will present an overview of empirical evidence from the behavioral organizational economics which will extend standard model of worker’s behavior. We will emphasize four stylized extensions: the worker’s reference dependent decision-making, influence of reciprocity between an employer and an employee (gift-exchange theory), importance of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation (and possible crowding-out effect), and the impact of relative performance compensation on the cooperation, reciprocity and sabotage in firms. The course will also address main (mis)behavioral regularities in managers’ decision-making, mostly on their over-optimism, leadership styles and corporate culture.

The most effective way of learning is experience. Employing knowledge and tools provided during the lectures students will be required to conduct their own experiment and present its results before their colleagues. Students will be welcome to come up with their own creative ideas and solutions in experiment proposals and will be supported in the actual practical realization of experiments. In addition to utilization of their existing knowledge students will gain understanding of practical problems and limitations of experimental design.

Schedule (Preliminary)

SATURDAY 28 August

12.00 – 18.00 Registration

19.00 – 19.30 Orientation / Ice Breaking Session /Egle Havrdova/

20.00 Welcome Dinner /Restaurant “Hlucna Samota”, Záhřebská 14/


SUNDAY 29 August

9.00 – 9.30 Introduction to Summer School Program

9.30 – 10.45 Lecture 1

10.45 – 11.00 Coffee Break

11.00 – 12.15 Lecture 2

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch/Restaurant “Hlucna Samota”/

15.00 – 18.00 Tours of Prague


MONDAY 30 August

09.30– 10.45 Lecture 3

10.15 – 10.30 Coffee Break

10.45 – 11.00 Lecture 4

11.00 – 12.15 Lecture 5

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch/Restaurant “Hlucna Samota”/

14.00 – 15.15 Lecture 6

15.15 – 15.30 Coffee Break

15.30 – 16.45 Lecture 7

18.00 – 20.00 Happy Hour & Happy Hour Talk. /Pragovka. Multi Art & Culture
District, Kolbenova 34A/


TUESDAY 31 August

09.30 – 10.45 Lecture 8

10.45 – 11.00 Coffee Break

11.00 – 12.15 Lecture 9

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch/Restaurant “Hlucna Samota”/

14.00 – 15.15 Workshop 1

15.15 – 15.30 Coffee Break

15.30 – 16.45 Workshop 2

17.00 – 18.30 Guest Lecture


WEDNESDAY 1 September

Free Day!!! Pragulic/ Trip to Kutna Hora or Karlštejn/ Exhibition/ Zoo/

19.00 Culture Night in Prague /“Stalin Containall”, Prague Metronome, Letna


THURSDAY 2 September

09.30 – 10.45 Lecture 10

10.45 – 11.00 Coffee Break

11.00 – 12.15 Lecture 11

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch/Restaurant “Hlucna Samota”/

14.00 – 15.15 Workshop 3

15.15 – 15.30 Coffee Break

15.30 – 16.45 Workshop 4

21.00 – 23.00 Boat Tour


FRIDAY 3 September

10.00 – 11.15 Lecture 12

11.15 – 11.30 Coffee Break

11.30 – 12.45 Workshop 5

12.45 Free Time

17.30 Departure for Gröbeho vila

18.00 Final Remarks & FAREWELL PARTY/Gröbeho vila, Havlíčkovy sady,
Praha 2/


SATURDAY 4 September



Marek Havrda, Ph.D.

Marek is co-founder of Prague Summer Schools. Since 2014 he is a member of Impact Assessment Board an advisory body to the Czech Government. He worked in the European Commission (Health and Consumers Directorate General) where he helped design better EU regulation (contributed to the first uses of behavioral economics for policy making at the EU level). Before joining the European Commission he directed consultancy, which worked for: i.a. Czech Government, KPMG and GE, and led Prague-based think-tank promoting good-governance. Now back in Prague working on a start-up connecting behavioral research and information technology – if interested please visit . Marek has also served as advisor to several Government Departments, currently advising the Czech Ministry on Education, Youth and Sports. Academics: MAs in Economics and International Studies and Ph.D. in Public and Social Policy (Charles University, Prague), MA in Sociology (Lancaster University / CEU), MPA (Warwick Business School), Fulbright Visiting Researcher (Johns Hopkins University). Marek co-authored a book on anti-corruption strategies using behavioral insights.

Matěj Sucha

Matej studied at Copenhagen University in Denmark and ETH Zurich in Switzerland. He has worked for several years at the Vienna Insurance Group (VIG), where he left in 2015 and founded the consulting firm MINDWORX.
MINDWORX specializes in behavioral economics and its applications in consumer behavior and managerial decision-making. At present he acts as a Managing Partner at MINDWORX. He teaches at Comenius University and lectures at conferences on the use of behavioral knowledge in various business spheres.He has a quantitative background in Actuarial mathematics with work experience both home and abroad. His expertise is among others consumer psychology and influence.

Lukáš Tóth

Lukas is a PhD candidate in economics at the University of Amsterdam and a co-founder of Behavio, a company that focuses on commercial applications of behavioral testing for companies and government entities. He has previously studied IES FSV UK and the Tinbergen Institute and has given invited talks on topics ranging from Economics and Philosophy to Economics of Regulation and Behavioral Economics. He coauthored part of Economics of Good and Evil with Tomas Sedlacek and is a martial arts enthusiast.

Jaromír Mazák

Jaromir works as a lecturer and researcher at the Charles University. His professional interests include political participation and research methodology. He is involved in a partnership project of the Charles University and the Czech Television called Trends of Czechia, which maps electoral preferences and public opinion on topical issues. He also teaches courses about data and analytical processing of information for the Czech Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. He will be coming to the summer school straight from his present academic visit at the University of Oxford.

Robin Kopecký

Robin is a researcher and PhD candidate at Charles University in Prague. He graduated with a degree in Philosophy (Faculty of Arts) and degree in Evolutionary biology (Faculty of Science). His main research topics are moral psychology and experimental philosophy.

Julie Novakova

Julie Novakova is a Czech author of science fiction and detective stories. She published six novels, one anthology and about thirty stories in Czech and started publishing short stories in English in 2013. She is also a regular contributor of the Czech SF magazine XB-1, publishing both fiction and nonfiction there, and a student of evolutionary biology at the Charles University in Prague. She participates in the Writing Workshop in Prague as an instructor.

Michal Plevka

Michal studied psychology at Comenius University in Bratislava. He works as a behavioral consultant at MINDWORX since 2015. His experience is among others in using behavioral economics to increase sales and improve communication. His main interest is the application of behavioral science to behavior change and habit formation to help people meet their goals.

Adam Ruzicka

Researcher in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience
Institute H21, Prague, Czech Republic

Adam studied undergraduate psychology at Masaryk University in Brno and then went off to University College London where he completed an MSc degree in Research methods in psychology and an MRes degree in Speech, language and cognition with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) scholarship. At UCL he worked as a researcher in cognitive neuroscience and investigated the human language system using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). He is interested in the mind-brain relationship, evolutionary approaches to the study of human psyche, and psychology of democracy. Currently he works at Institute H21 in Prague and focuses on innovations in civic participation and the tackling of societal polarisation. He often wonders why good people are divided by politics and religion.

Apply now! Applications are reviewed on rolling basis.