VÉRTICE PSIPsicologia em Treinamento, Consultoria e Clínica is my company dedicated to my jobs as an independent consultant, speaker, lecturer, private practice and everything else I have been doing for the past two or three decades!


You can read more about the services offered here.


So VÉRTICE PSI is my business side! But back in in 2000 I also created the homepage www.verarita.psc.br. That was right after I had finished writing my M.Sc. dissertation and book on emotional factors involved in the Brazilian experience with high inflation, back in the late 1980's up till 1994, when Plano Real, under Fernando Henrique Cardoso, finally lowered it drastically.


Since then, a lot has happened in the world, in my professional life [including a Ph.D in social psychology] – and in the site too! Perhaps the main point has been my ever deepening involvement with Economic Psychology, while this field is being built in Brazil. Being such active part in this process has been quite thrilling and we see bright perspectives over bringing the discipline to our agenda regarding issues like financial capability, financial inclusion and over-indebtedness. This has already begun, and I get very excited when I look back at where we came from along this process – there was practically nothing related to this field prior to 1990 –  and we can now say that we are taking firm steps towards fully having economic psychology in different sectors down here.


Read some more about all this below -  in fact it has been extracted from my page as IAREP representative in Brazil, with some recent updating:


Economic Psychology has only recently begun to grow in Brazil. However, it has already been established in Europe, North America, Israel, New Zealand and Australia for some decades now. It studies the economic behaviour of individuals, and therefore belongs to the interface between Psychology and Economics. It has roots in both Social Psychology and Political Economy, and nowadays we can also find parallel research in other areas such as Behavioural Economics, Behavioural Finance and Neuroeconomics. The expression "Economic Psychology" was first used back in 1881, but it was only in the 1970's that the area gained greater visibility and autonomy. The International Association for the Research in Economic Psychology - IAREP was created in 1982 and it gathers psychologists, experimental economists, administrators, specialists in marketing and information technology, among other researchers, who get together in annual conferences that take place in different cities in Europe and other parts of the world. There is a very favourable and friendly atmosphere for exchange and mutual cooperation in these meetings, besides the genuine interest in building a common ground for all the different collaborators that make it up. We also have the Journal of Economic Psychology, and summer schools and workshops that occur regularly in several countries. It ought to be pointed out too that two researchers within the discipline have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics – Herbert Simon, in 1978, and Daniel Kahneman, in 2002, along with Vernon Smith, an experimental economist.


My involvement with Economic Psychology dates back to 1994, when I presented a project for a master's degree in Social Psychology at Universidade de São Paulo - USP, to investigate emotional aspects connected to the experience of high economic inflation and later on, a relative stabilization of our currency, such as we were having back then in Brazil. At that time, I did not know Economic Psychology existed, and used my psychoanalytic background and training to discuss this issue. Along the years in grad school I had an initial contact with a book, and a colleague from New Zealand, and thus began to discover the area. In 2000 I became a member of IAREP, and over the past few years have been attending the annual conferences. These regular meetings with colleagues from different parts from the world have provided me with a valuable source of information and stimulus to continue studying issues within the discipline. In 2000 also, I created a homepage to offer information about Economic Psychology, along with my other areas of interest. In 2002, I co-organized a small, however interesting, “Pre-Encounter of Psychology and Economics – frontiers, convergences, dilemmas”, in São Paulo, that was possibly the first initiative to bring together psychologists, economists and other specialists to discuss these issues in Brazil. In 2003 I started my Ph.D. also in social psychology, at the catholic university, PUC-SP. Since economic psychology did not exist in Brazil, it was both very hard to find a supervisor willing to accept a project in the area, and also a challenge to go on and help to build it here. My doctoral dissertation, named “Economic psychology – origins, models, proposals”, discussed the field, from a historical point of view and its general foundations, the main models developed by relevant researchers, my own suggestion of a decision-making model that laid heavily on emotional dynamics, and the proposal for an economic psychology agenda in Brazil.


This proposal was an evolution of my preliminary concerns over high inflation, when I had already become interested in the possibility of using psychological knowledge to help the population make better economic decisions. The idea ever since has always been to bring this potential contribution coming from economic psychology to inform the population on their economic behaviour and how decisions are made, which should include both knowledge about economics, finance and their mechanisms, and also psychological operations, in order to help people to learn more about these issues and from their own experience too, so as to become responsible for their own decision-making processes in the economic realm. Over the past few years, this debate on applications for economic psychology and behavioural economics in Brazil was also widened so as to include how policy-making might benefit the population as well, with suggestions on research over how policies (economic, public and social) are routinely elaborated on fields such as financial literacy and capability, micro-finance, financial inclusion, citizen and consumer protection, credit and indebtedness, retirement and pension plans, the environment and policy-making, and how they could be brought closer to a more realistic level, both concretely and psychologically.


These ideas have been published in several articles and papers presented at conferences, and I have also been invited to write three books that have become the first on economic psychology written and published in Brazil: Economic decisions – have ever you stopped to think about them?, 2007, republished in 2nd edition in 2011; Economic psychology – studies on economic behaviour and decision-making, 2008; The investor’s mind, 2011.


Therefore, it was only natural to begin to bring together the two areas – economic psychology and financial education – that do share the same goal: delivering information efficiently, and encouraging awareness, empowerment and emancipation among significant sectors of the population. This particular collaboration, that emphasizes the importance of necessarily including the emotional components present in decision-making and changes of behaviour, aims to improve financial education programs and policy-making itself.


So, in 2008 I was invited to become economic psychology consultant for ENEF, the Brazilian national strategy for financial education, and around the same time, arrangements were carried on to begin training professionals for the program that treats over indebtedness, in a partnership with the state consumer protection agency [Fundação Procon-SP] and the Court of Justice. Having economic psychology insights included in the books offered to high school students through Enef has turned the strategy a pioneer initiative in the world in this respect.


In 2009 I had the honour of sharing a panel with Nobel winner Daniel Kahneman, at a congress organized by investment banks (ANBID, now named ANBIMA). And since 1994 I have been quite involved with the construction of economic psychology in Brazil, where I have been representing IAREP since 2004 (besides belonging to the Executive Committee for ICABEEP-The International Confederation for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics and Economic Psychology too), and have taught introductory courses on this issue since 2005 (at FIPECAFI, a foundation dedicated to teaching and research in finance and accounting, since 2009). Besides I also work as an independent consultant for economic psychology, write articles for newspapers, magazines and websites on topics from the area, and have been invited by different institutions to deliver talks about it. Finally, I must add that I am quite happy to see that economic psychology is starting to bud in Brazil, where there is still a lot to develop in this field, although at the same time, we can offer these two pioneer initiatives that involve it with financial education and policy-making – ENEF and over-indebtedness – as instances to be debated on how this kind of partnership can be further improved around the world.


In fact, the most recent news is quite exciting too: as of mid-2013, I will be responsible for the NUMIP's pilot project at the Brazilian Central Bank! NUMIP is an interactive museum center of reference in economic psychology and financial education to be implemented at the bank's Money Museum, in a partnership with IAREP-International Association for Research in Economic Psychology. The aim there is to disseminate information from research in economic psychology to different sectors of the population, as well as offering tools and opportunities to discuss applications for this knowledge in the realm of economic behaviour, decision-making and policy-making. In short, it is conceived to become an innovative tool towards "debiasing" the population as far as systematic errors regarding decision-making goes, and inspiring debates over choice architecture and policies. This makes me particularly happy because it is an idea born back in the end of 2009 that we have been struggling hard to turn into reality, besides all the pioneering aspect around it as well.


But this is not all: in 2014, CVM, the Brazilian equivalent to SEC, has created NEC, the Behavioural Studies Center [Núcleo de Estudos Comportamentais, in Portuguese], and I am a member, along with three other colleagues. This team of specialists in economic, social and cognitive psychology, behavioural economics, neuroscience and education shall study, research, discuss and inform policy-making on investor behaviour and education. And later on, in the same year, I was selected to be a member of the INFE-International Network for Financial Education, at the OECD-Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Research Committee, along with 14 other specialists from all over the world. This was the result of a nomination coming from the Financial Education Dept. of the Brazilian Central Bank, and the purpose of the committee is to research, analyse, discuss and inform policy-makers from different countries on financial education issues.


And in 2015, I went on a World Bank mission dedicated to help develop financial inclusion in Vietnam, as a specialist in economic psychology and financial education, to discuss these topics with the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training, and the State Bank of Vietnam, in Hanoi.

"Economic Psychology
and Psychoanalysis -
a psychological outlook
for perspectives,
choice architecture
and policy."
Portuguese English