Professor William Forbes


My research focusses on behavioural finance; especially the "fast-and-frugal" reasoning approach developed by Gerd Gigerenzer. I currently largely work on the topic of narratives in finance and the analysis of textual data generated by financial decision-makers. I am  always looking for good opportunities to apply a fast-and-frugal reasoning approach to problems in accounting, finance and corporate governance. Previously I worked at  Queen Mary, Loughborough, Glasgow, Manchester,  and Bangor Universities. I was born in Birmingham and live in Bedford. In our School I work closely with Professors Salma Ibrahim and Gaelle Vallee-Tourangeau and Dr George Yiannopoulos.  

Academic responsibilities

Adjunct Faculty


  • BA Hons (Law and Economics), Keele University, 1981
  • M. Soc Sci (Economics), Birmingham University, 1982.
  • MA (Industrial Relations), Warwick University, 1983.
  • Ph.D (Law and Economics), Newcastle-upon-Tyne University, 1987.

Teaching and learning

Currently I teach on the International Master's program in the School and supervise some Dissertation students

Postgraduate courses taught


Much of my research concerns the application of and insights from "fast-frugal-reasoning as developed by Gerd Gigerenzer and the Adaptive Behaviour and Cognition (ABC) Group within the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. As part of this research program I am interested in the development of "flexible narratives", often embedded in the fast-and frugal trees popularised by Laura Martignon in a series of papers.    

Scholarly affiliations

  • I am an Honorary Professor in Dundee Business School and work closely with coleagues there

Business, knowledge transfer and international

Currently I work closely with a consultancy in London that matches fund allocators to funds seeking investment. A number of my papers (with Dr James Bowden of Strathclyde Business School in Glasgow) utilise data generated with that Consultancy and study the problems it business mode, value proposition suggests.   

Areas of interest

  • Behavioural finance
  • Economic and financial narratives
  • Fast-and-frugal reasononing

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