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2021/2022  KAN-CPSYV1050U  Mindfulness in Decision Makings

English Title
Mindfulness in Decision Makings

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 45
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Psychology, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Jesper Clement - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Customer behaviour
  • Communication
  • Marketing
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 12-02-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The objective for the course is to provide the student with an insight to the scope of mindfulness and its relation to business. The student will get an overview of research within the field of mindfulness and through this be able to evaluate the values for decision makings in a broad scope of situations. The student should be able to reflect critically on topics provided during the course, and should be able to reflect on these, in a written report as well as in a discussion.
To be awarded with the highest mark (12), the student, with no or just a few insignificant shortcomings, must fulfill the following objectives:
  • be able to apply relevant literature to a research question
  • be able to articulate concepts and theories from the syllabus to propose an original research proposition
  • be able to clarify opportunities and barriers for applying mindfulness to business theory and practice
  • communicate ideas with clarity
Course prerequisites
A basic knowledge about marketing theory, decision-making and behavioral economics is a good foundation for this course, but not a necessity.
Mindfulness in Decision Makings:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Research within the field of mindfulness contributes to marketing theory in the field of consumer psychology and neuromarketing, with implications on industrial and societal level. Leaders may cultivate mindfulness in order to cope with stress, prevent burnout and be better equipped to empathize with coworkers. Mindful leaders develop attentional skills and emotional regulation, which help them focus on their work and create better relationships.

On the society level, citizens may cultivate mindfulness in order to deal with impulsive consumption behavior. Consumers’ ability to act mindfully might benefit from their practice in many aspects of their live, and especially when short-term rewards are chosen instead of long-term benefits. This can be related to daily decisions (e.g. choosing healthy food) until long-term decisions (financial decisions). In that sense, consumers who practice mindfulness contribute to a healthier and more sustainable society.

The concept of mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist psychology and indicates both a type of meditation practice and a personal characteristic that is developed because of this practice. Yet, there are many other levels of meditation. Students in class will become familiarized with different types of practices, their effects and benefits, and the theory and psychological mechanisms behind them.

There are two strains of research concerning mindfulness; one based on Ellen Langer’s work and one based on Kabat-Zin’s practice and research. In the course we take the second approach because it offers different ways for experimentally testing how people can and will be able to develop mindful decision-makings.

Thaler and Sustein already mentioned the issue of loss aversion in relation to decision making in their book Nudge, and according to the authors many decision turns out to be less favorable in the long term, due the loss aversion experience. A more mindful approach to many decisions could in a way become a tool to avoid compulsive and impulsive decisions and help consumers and leaders live and work more sustainable in all aspects of their life.

Description of the teaching methods
The intention of the teaching is, that students work in teams engaging in discussions and doing presentations throughout the course. These presentations would be directly based on the readings and/or exercises in class. The aim for the presentations is to clarify topics and areas of challenges related to the course topic. It will also be expected that students can apply theoretical concepts in their daily lives, demonstrating how aspects of mindfulness can help them become better consumers and leaders.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback is given in the middle of the semester based on the presentations in class.
Student workload
Preperation 123 hours
Teaching 33 hours
Exam 50 hours
Expected literature

Hart, R., Ivtzan, I., & Hart, D. (2013). Mind the Gap in Mindfulness Research: A Comparative Account of the Leading Schools of Thought. Review of General Psychology, 17(4), 453–466. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1037/​a0035212


Wallace, B. A., & Shapiro, S. L. (2006). Mental balance and well-being: Building bridges between Buddhism and Western psychology. American Psychologist, 61(7), 690–701. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1037/​0003-066X.61.7.690


Hafenbrack, A. C., Kinias, Z., & Barsade, S. G. (2014). Debiasing the Mind Through Meditation: Mindfulness and the Sunk-Cost Bias. Psychological Science, 25(2), 369–376. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1177/​0956797613503853


Mick, D.G. (2017), Buddhist psychology: Selected insights, benefits, and research agenda for consumer psychology. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 27: 117-132. doi:10.1016/​j.jcps.2016.04.003


Evelien Van De Veer, Erica Van Herpen, Hans C. M. Van Trijp, Body and Mind: Mindfulness Helps Consumers to Compensate for Prior Food Intake by Enhancing the Responsiveness to Physiological Cues, Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 42, Issue 5, February 2016, Pages 783–803, https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1093/​jcr/​ucv058


Tang, Yi-Yuan. (2017). Mindfulness Meditation and Behavior Change. 10.1007/​978-3-319-46322-3_5.


Kabat‐Zinn, J. (2003), Mindfulness‐Based Interventions in Context: Past, Present, and Future. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10: 144-156. doi:10.1093/clipsy.bpg016


Baer, R. A., Smith, G. T., Lykins, E., Button, D., Krietemeyer, J., Sauer, S., … Williams, J. M. G. (2008). Construct Validity of the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire in Meditating and Nonmeditating Samples. Assessment, 15(3), 329–342. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1177/​1073191107313003


Brown, K.W. & Ryan, R.M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 822-848.


Lutz A, Slagter HA, Dunne JD, Davidson RJ. Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation. Trends Cogn Sci. 2008;12(4):163–169. doi:10.1016/​j.tics.2008.01.005

Davidson RJ, Lutz A. Buddha's Brain: Neuroplasticity and Meditation. IEEE Signal Process Mag. 2008;25(1):176–174. doi:10.1109/​msp.2008.4431873


The Science of Meditation - How to Change Your Brain, Mind and Body

af Daniel Goleman


Altered Traits - Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body af Daniel Goleman & Richard J. Davidson

Last updated on 12-02-2021