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George Katona

Person

George Katona was a Hungarian-born American psychologist who was one of the first to advocate a rapprochement between economics and psychologists. Originally trained as a Gestalt psychologist working on problems of learning and memory, during the Second World War he became involved in American government attempts to use psychology to combat war-induced inflation. This led him to consider the application of psychological principles to macroeconomics, and he devised measures of consumer expectations that eventually became the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index. Use of this index enabled him to predict the post-war boom in the United States at a time when conventional econometric indicators were predicting a recession, a success which helped his fledgling index establish itself. Katona wrote numerous books and journal articles advocating the development of economic psychology. These general ideas were taken up more fully in Europe than in the United States, until the development, after his death, of modern behavioral economics. Katona contrasted "genuine decision" and "habitual behavior". This remark is important. In fact, neoclassical economics deemed human decision  ( Wikipedia article )

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