The aim of the course is to offer you an in-depth account of a number of important topics within the research field of consumer behavior. Within this field, a diverse array of (social) psychological theories and models are being applied to explain and predict how people think, feel, and act in our consumer society. You will read, reflect on, and discuss a collection of journal articles by internationally renowned scholars whose work is at the cutting edge of research.
At the end of the course students will be able to
- Apply general psychological principles of motivation to the consumer context.
- Express their own opinion about the quality of consumer science research.
- Evaluate how well basic research in consumer science can be applied to the real world.
- Design a study that addresses how a finding in consumer science can be effectively applied in the real world.
In this course we will pay attention to the psychological processes of consumers. We will discuss topics like judgment and decision making in the consumer domain, (unconscious vs. conscious) consumer information processing, goals, motivation and self-regulation, and consumers' affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses towards marketing stimuli and persuasive appeals.
This course will be run as a seminar. We will prepare classes by reading the literature. Every class starts with a short test of your knowledge of the articles that you have read for that class. These tests will be graded, and the average will make up 20% of the final grade. You are allowed to miss one test. So if you do all, the lowest grade will not be included in the average. After the test, we will discuss the articles in-depth.
In addition, small groups of students write a research proposal for an experimental study that will help users understand the best ways to apply the research in a real world situation. The last two meetings are reserved for presentations of the research proposals. The groups will give a short presentation of their research paper and receive feedback from their peers that they can use to improve their proposal, to be handed in by the end of the course. The research proposal (which includes the presentation of the proposal) makes up 30% of the final grade. In addition, there will be a scheduled final exam. This exam makes up 50% of the final grade.
If you fail the short tests or the final exam, there is a resit that replaces the grade for the short test and the final exam. For the resit for the research paper, your group will write a new proposal on a different topic (if the entire group does not plan to do the resit, only those members who would like to do the resit need to complete the new proposal). The resit for the proposal will be scheduled as necessary.
Please note that in case you do not pass the course, all grades will expire by the end of the academic year, which implies that you have to retake the full course next year.
Type of instructions
2 seminars per week
Type of exams
short tests, research proposal, presentation, final exam