1822 Consumer Psychology
Valentin Mang, MSc.
Contact details
  • Type
  • Weekly hours
  • Language of instruction
09/21/21 to 09/30/21
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Bachelor Programs
Day Date Time Room
Wednesday 11/03/21 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Online-Einheit
Monday 11/08/21 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Online-Einheit
Monday 11/15/21 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Online-Einheit
Monday 11/22/21 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Online-Einheit
Friday 11/26/21 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Monday 11/29/21 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Online-Einheit
Monday 12/06/21 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Online-Einheit
Friday 12/10/21 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Monday 12/13/21 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM Online-Einheit
Friday 12/17/21 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Monday 12/20/21 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Online-Einheit


This course provides an overview of the psychology of consumer decision making in marketing contexts, drawing on concepts and theories from marketing, psychology, and behavioural economics. The psychological knowledge will be applied to practical examples of marketing problems, allowing students to gain insights into how consumer psychology can be applied in the real world, online as well as offline. The main goals of this course are to develop basic knowledge of different areas of consumer psychology, and to understand how insights from these areas can be utilised in marketing settings.

In a guest speaker session with a UK-based company that applies theories and principles from consumer psychology in practice, students will learn how consumer psychology can inform digital business models. (tentative)

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Understand a variety of psychological factors influencing consumer judgment and decision making
  • Be familiar with a variety of research areas around consumer psychology
  • Be able to dentify and analyse consumer psychology problems in marketing contexts
  • Be able to utilise consumer psychology knowledge to influence the outcome of marketing efforts
  • Understand how a variety of psychological research methods can be used in day-to-day marketing
  • Know how to design experiments
  • Know how to systematically and critically assess the moral value of marketing practices that make use of consumer psychology insights

Attendance requirements

Course format:
This course will be administered in a distance-learning format in any case, meaning that all learning and teaching activities will take place online.

Most units consist of an asynchronous part (mandatory lecture recordings, readings, etc.) and a synchronous part (discussions, group work, student presentations, etc.). For most units, students will have to complete the asynchronous part before the synchronous session.

To pass the course, at least 80% of the scheduled sessions have to be attended.


Teaching/learning method(s)

This course will involve a variety of learning formats, including lectures, discussions of practical cases and examples, student presentations, as well as a guest speaker session with industry experts (tentative). Each unit will comprise both theoretical contents and interactive, more practically-oriented activities.

The theoretical contents will be covered mostly asynchronously, through lecture recordings and readings students should familiarise themselves with before each synchronous session. The interactive and more practically-oriented aspects, as well as discussions of the covered contents and student presentations will take place synchronously (i.e. in class).


Grading scheme:
The grading scheme is structured as follows:

  • Fail: less than 60 points
  • Sufficient: 60 points or more
  • Satisfactory: 70 points or more
  • Good: 80 points or more
  • Excellent: 90 points or more

The following performance components make up the overall grade:

  • Short essay (30 points): students can choose an essay question from a list of topics to write a short literature-based essay on (1000 words)
  • Final exam (25 points): a short online exam covering all contents
  • "Consumer psychology in practice" exercises (20 points): for every unit, there will be a practically-oriented exercise (group or individual) relating to the theoretical contents covered in the respective unit. The exercises will be presented and/or discussed in class.
  • In-class participation (15 points)
  • Podcast summary (10 points): students can choose a podcast episode from a list of podcasts relating to the course contents to summarise it in a short presentation/video

Students can earn up to 3 bonus points if they voluntarily participate in a research study series at the Department of Marketing. The studies usually take place in the lab facilities on campus or online and take up to 60 minutes to complete.

Unit details

Unit Date Contents
1 03.11., 10:30-12:30

What is consumer psychology?

  • Introduction to consumer psychology
  • Experiment design
  • The "new unconscious"
  • Administrative matters
2 08.11., 10:30-12:30

The (ir)rational consumer:

  • The two systems of thinking in consumer choice: deliberative thinking vs. nonconscious snap judgments
  • Choice architecture: nudges and other ways of influencing decision making
  • Preference construction theory: how (product) preferences are formed and how they can be influenced
3 08.11., 10:30-12:30

Shortcuts & errors in consumer judgment and decision making:

  • Heuristics: representativeness, availability, and adjustment & anchoring
  • Biases: systematic errors in judgment and decision making
  • Thin Slicing: how thin slices of information provide the base for consumers’ judgments
4 15.11., 10:30-12:30

Is more choice always better?

  • Introduction to choice overload: how too much choice can be detrimental to the decision-making process
  • Recommendation engines - digital business models tackling choice overload
5 26.11., 16:00-18:00

Guest speaker session (tentative)

6 29.11., 10:30-12:30

Why everything is relative - even when it shouldn't be:

  • The framing effect: how the framing of information can affect consumers’ decisions
  • The role of relativity and comparisons in decision making
7 06.12., 10:30-12:30

Emotional decisions:

  • The role of emotions and arousal in decision making
8 10.12., 10:30-12:30

The power of (perceived) ownership:

  • Psychological ownership: how a sense of ownership of a product can be elicited even before purchase
  • The IKEA effect: how making consumers partially create a product can lead to a more favourable evaluation of the product
  • Psychological ownership & streaming services (e.g. Spotify)
9 13.12., 10:30-12:30

How to explore System 1 and System 2:

  • Research methods for marketers’ day-to-day business: implicit vs. explicit methods
  • Consumer neuroscience research methods: fMRI, EEG, Eye-Tracking, other biometric techniques

Marketing, manipulation, & morality:

  • Assessing whether marketing tactics are manipulative and/or immoral
10 17.12., 16:00-18:00

Optional Q&A drop-in session

11 20.12., 10:30-12:30

Final Exam

Last edited: 2021-03-30