1.4 Economic Concepts Implied by Action

Lesson Objectives

Refine Generalizations & Avoid Oversimplifications

Simplifying complex ideas without misrepresentation or distortions

Independent Thinking

incorporate new information and insight into your ideas and catch your own mistakes

Question of the Week

What does a person’s actions imply about their beliefs?


Reading for Discussion

Read, page 31-39 – Lesson 3 – of Lessons for the Young Economist by Robert Murphy.

Creative Thinking Activity


“when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”

VIDEO: Sherlock Holmes Deduction

VIDEO: Sherlock Holmes Deduction Scene with Mary and John

There are some thick British accents to listen through but it’s a good example. Watch both videos! From the second, first, pay attention to how deductive reasoning works, and second, that we can still be wrong. What was Sherlock Holmes wrong about in his deduction of Mary’s past? Why is it reasonable that he got it wrong? Also, try to name the economic activities he mentions. One example, she “traveled abroad.” What do those activities have to do with the economic concept of preferences? Why is Holmes able to deduce Mary’s beliefs based on her economic preferences?

Leave a reply with your responses to these questions below

Leave a Reply

When you’ve completed this lesson,  please