Cognitive Economics A New Approach for Revolutionizing Economics Education in Iran

Document Type : Original Article



The purpose of this paper is to evaluate critically economics education in Iran within the framework of cognitive economics. For that the main problems dominating economics education have been explained and illuminated such as unsatisfactory national academic achievements, ignoring in part critical applied areas in economics, little progress and development in teaching economics during the last decades, little effort paid on multidisciplinary economic activities, failure in recognizing and rectifying economic problems and challenges of the society, etc. On that regard, among other factors, quality of education, student aptitude, motivational factors, and the approach used have been considered as the main reasons causing the problems; it is concluded that the crucial reason for most problems arises from lack of using appropriate analytical approach. Hence, to make a substantial change in economics education one has to apply a realistic approach that is cognitive economics. Because, in cognitive economics approach, rationality is considered as a relative and improvable phenomenon. In addition, information, knowledge, skill and specialization are viewed as the main determinants of decision making and resource allocation behaviors; it is assumed that economic agents with regard to these factors have heterogeneous capabilities. Nonetheless, development, utilization and transformation of information, knowledge, skill and specialization by the agents are considered to be heavily dependent on some other proficiencies (that is, meta-cognitive and emotional-communicative competences). Thus, focusing on such issues accompanied with the impacts of scarcity on the way of thinking and deciding provides substantial advantages for cognitive economics to understand deeply the causes of economic problems and to improve the effectiveness of policies and programs.