Course ObjectiveAt the end of this course you will be acquainted with the psychological
theories, concepts, methods, and research findings central to the study
of consumer behavior (Bridging Theory and Practice- Knowledge). You will
be able to understand
consumer decisions from different perspectives as well as to apply
theoretical frameworks in different settings (Academic and Reserach
addition, you will be able to apply these theories in order to develop
effective marketing strategies to influence thinking and behavior of
consumers (Bridging Theory and Practice - Application). Critical reading
reflection on scientific articles will give you a good sense of how
behavioral experiments are set up and analyzed. Moreover, you will
actively participate in experimental research as well as develop the
skills needed to understand experimental research, and interpret its
experimental results (Academic and Research skills).
At the end of the course students will be able to:
- explain important concepts and theories in the study of consumer
- identify different drivers of consumer decisions;
- apply fundamental psychological theories to real-world consumer
- interpret graphical output of simple experiments;
- explain the methodology of academic articles as discussed in class.
Course ContentThis course has a dual purpose. It will provide you with better
understanding of both (a) theory on consumer behavior and (b) the basics
of experimental research methodology (an essential need to understand
academic articles in the field).
We are consumers, every day, every moment of the day. We consume food,
drinks, education, and television programs. It is however not always
easy to understand or predict the behavior of consumers. Why do
consumers choose one car or holiday destination over the other? How are
advertisements processed and when are they effective? Are preferences
stable or easily malleable? For successful marketing management and
strategy, it is essential to get an understanding of the behavior of
consumers. After all, marketing begins and ends with the consumer, from
determining consumer needs to finally providing and maintaining consumer
satisfaction. The course introduces you to some important psychological
theories on memory, learning, perception, attitude, motivation, identity
and social influences. We do not only focus on “big theories”, but also
study specific articles from top-notch journals in the field, thereby
illustrating how research in this field is done, how this contributes to
our knowledge on consumer decisions as well as to develop critical
As mentioned above, in addition to the conceptual part of the course,
considerable attention is allocated to (experimental) research
By doing so, you will develop skills that are essential to truly
understand specific academic articles in the field from A to Z (insights
in methodology included).
Method of AssessmentWritten exam – Individual assessment.
(Interim) Assignment(s) – Individual and Group assessment.
LiteratureA customized handbook: Consumer Behavior (compiled by Kobe Millet) –
Available in the VU Bookstore; ISBN 978-1-4737-5799-8
Additional readings (tba) will be announced on Canvas.
Recommended background knowledgeNone.
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||School of Business and Economics|
|Course Coordinator||dr. K.M.T. Millet|
|Examiner||dr. K.M.T. Millet|
dr. K. Gorissen
You need to register for this course yourself
Last-minute registration is available for this course.
|Teaching Methods||Seminar, Lecture|
This course is also available as: