More than 100 years ago, Herbert A. Simon wrote the book “The sciences of the artificial” (1916) where he presented Economics as an artificial science. Even though back then the mainstream economics promoted the idea of <homo economicus>, Simon’s perspective of man was as one of an artificial system, characterized by a bounded rationality whose behavior depends on his inner and outer environment. Later, in the 70’s Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky investigated more on the limitation of human rationality and built, based on empirical studies, the maps of bounded rationality. Later, Richard H. Thaler introduced the concept of nudge, as a way to improve people’s choices by using the knowledge about their limited rationality and using it to direct their behavior in the direction in which they would have behaved if they were rational.

This articles treats human behavior through the lens of ergonomics, a scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. We adopt the perspective of the man as an interface between his inner and outer environment and describe how behavioral economics developed a different perspective about human choice in contrast with the one promoted by standard economics.