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Psychological behavior and economics: the need for new theories and redefinition of basic concepts in Islamic economics


  • Syed Agil, Syed Omar


This study attempts to posit the nexus between psychology and economics. However it is not the purpose of the paper to focus on all aspects of psychology and its various theories. It is also not the purpose of this paper to trace the historical development of economics, its various schools and the economic ideas that emerged. It discusses only those areas that are relevant to the development of economic thought particularly with regard to motivation and psychological behaviour. It traces the historical experience of western economics and psychology through three phases, which inevitably led to secularism and the separation of both disciplines from morality. This study considers the emergence of the egoistic and selfish motives underlying assumptions as the cause of the predicament and confusion in the body of knowledge present in modern economics and psychology and other behavioral sciences. Due to the inextricable link between culture, motivation and psychological behaviour, this paper also attempts to synthesize psychology and economics within the framework of the Islamic system and how the Islamic model of man influences motivation and human actions. It is the contention of this paper that the Islamic synthesis between psychology and economics is significant as it suggests the need for reformulation of economic concepts, models and policies and theories which may differ from those of neoclassical economics. Therefore as a corollary, this paper also suggests that a holistic approach to man, development and development policies should be implemented to ensure effectiveness in the enhancement of man’s material and spiritual well being and his quality of life.

Suggested Citation

  • Syed Agil, Syed Omar, 2007. "Psychological behavior and economics: the need for new theories and redefinition of basic concepts in Islamic economics," MPRA Paper 35804, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35804

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bachev, Hrabrin Ianouchev & Nanseki, T., 2008. "Risk Governance in Bulgarian Dairy Farming," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44136, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. repec:mes:jeciss:v:30:y:1996:i:4:p:1212-1216 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bachev, Hrabrin, 2008. "Governing of agrarian sustainability," MPRA Paper 7772, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Bachev, Hrabrin, 2010. "Eco-governance in Bulgarian Agriculture," MPRA Paper 22958, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Hrabrin Bachev, 2005. "Efficiecy Of Agrarian Organisations," Microeconomics 0511002, EconWPA.
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    More about this item


    Psychology; Economics; Self-interest motives; Rationality; Islamic economics; Islamic psychology; Islamic Man;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General
    • B0 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology
    • B5 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches


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