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2023/2024  KAN-CPSYV2301U  Advanced Digital Consumer Behavior

English Title
Advanced Digital Consumer Behavior

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Psychology, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Antonia Erz - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Customer behaviour
  • Information technology
  • Marketing
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 13-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Identify new research question(s), that are theoretically interesting and practically relevant, and generate their own conceptual framework and coherent academic/theoretical argumentation based on selected theories, specifically in regard to the assignment (research proposal).
  • Identify, explain, and discuss selected theories and concepts, particularly in light of the assignment.
  • Understand and explain a suitable research/study design (qualitative or experimental), identify its strengths and weaknesses, and propose and describe a specific research/study design in the assignment.
  • Identify and discuss theoretical contributions and limitations of academic works (including the students' own resulting from this course) and discuss their implications for marketing practice (including commercial and non-profit/public marketing).
Course prerequisites
Students should possess the basic knowledge of consumer behavior before participating in this course. They should be familiar with basic concepts, constructs and models of consumer decision-making, perception, attitudes and persuasion, learning and memory, identity and personality, motives and motivation, groups and social processes, and culture. Furthermore, they should have at least a basic to intermediate understanding of the main methodological perspectives in consumer behavior research, specifically qualitative and experimental designs. Students should have a basic understanding of marketing management fundamentals. These fundamentals will not be repeated in this course but be built on.

This is an advanced course that is particularly relevant for students approaching their master’s thesis, who are particularly interested in academic research and writing in this area. Students should have an interest in investigating current problem formulations in the field, both from an academic and managerial perspective (e.g., by reading news, industry and academic outlets). Students should be willing to deal with academic literature in-depth during the course.
Advanced Digital Consumer Behavior:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-3
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Project
Release of assignment Subject chosen by students themselves, see guidelines if any
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
10 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The project is a research proposal. The students in one group choose their own topic and develop their own research question based on its relevancy to the syllabus, i.e. the chosen topic must be closely connected to the syllabus (further instructions regarding the assessment of topic suitability will be given at course start). The students are provided with a selection of relevant literature during the course; the nature of the assignment requires from the students to research and select further literature on their own that is motivated by the self-chosen assignment topic and research question. Students have to develop a conceptual framework and/or hypotheses, dependent on the methodological direction of their proposal.


Please note that this course focuses on selected methodological perspectives that are closely connected to the literature the course deals with. Students will not collect data but will have to suggest and describe the research/study design in their research proposal in some detail, directed by the methodological directions provided in this course.


The nature of this project requires from students to start working on their research proposal from the course start.


A display of theoretical depth in both the written product and the oral examination is expected.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The overall goal of the course is for students to gain a deep, specialized, both theoretically and managerially relevant, understanding of digital consumer behavior, based on psychological and socio-cultural perspectives. Students’ analytical skills are trained by dealing with academic literature in-depth and in a critical manner, reflecting on results and implications of extent research, and based on the understanding of extant research, by developing their own theoretically and managerially relevant research question in this field.


More specifically, this course builds on students’ fundamental knowledge of theories of consumer behavior and marketing management acquired in previous courses and extends on them by focusing on digital consumer behavior. This course addresses digital consumer behavior as the study of consumption behavior that takes place in the digital environment (including mobile), is affected by digital technologies, and/or is a response to phenomena and marketing strategies brought about by the advancement of digital technologies. As such, it goes beyond a definition of digital consumption as merely the consumption of online media or entertainment, and encompasses different topics, such as online shopping, the spread of electronic word-of-mouth on social networking sites, the digital self (from blogging to the metaverse), influencer marketing, or the application of artificial intelligence (e.g., chatbots). In addition, with the advancements in digital technology changing the face of marketing and as such, the extent of potential intrusion into consumers’ lives, privacy, transparency, and other ethical concerns must be discussed.


This course will address a selection of these topics by presenting students with exemplary research from top-tier journals, discussing its results and implications for theory and practice, and developing new research questions based on extent literature. The body of literature relevant for this course will be based on both psychological and socio-cultural theories. In addition, students will get the opportunity to take a critical perspective towards the impact that the advancement in technology has on consumers and society at large vis-à-vis businesses who use these technologies in their marketing, sales, and services. While this course cannot provide a comprehensive picture of this scattered and emerging research field, it will offer deep insight into different psychological and socio-cultural theories that are relevant to understanding important questions in this field, and will equip students with expert knowledge that will allow them to extend on it or apply it in the field.


Lastly, although students are expected to exhibit a basic understanding of different methodological perspectives on the study of consumer behavior and marketing management, research in this course will be discussed with specific methodological distinctions in mind. Students should anticipate that the discussion of course-specific methodological perspectives is an integral part of this course in order to help them formulate suitable research questions and propose a suitable methodological design to answer them. It should be noted that the focus of this course lies on dealing with the theoretical argumentation and construction of an interesting and novel research question, and that while students should be able to formulate a suitable methodological design, data will not be collected. This course is theory- and not empirics-driven, and students must be prepared to take more time for understanding theory than they might be used to.


Description of the teaching methods
This course is offered as a blended learning course. This means, lectures will mostly take place online and exercises/workshops on-campus. In addition to engaging with online lectures, students are expected to prepare for any on-campus sessions during online time and before coming to the on-campus sessions. Preparation and on-campus sessions will include both individual and group work, where students are asked to work with the literature assigned to the session and/or with their assignments. In addition, there will be possibilities for online-interactions with and feedback provision by both peers and teacher(s). Participating in and preparing for both on-campus and online interactions is vital to the success of this course.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students should be prepared to work on their projects (research proposal) independently in their groups and from the beginning of the course. This may also include reading further into topics that may be discussed later in the course. The teacher(s) will give feedback to exercises/in workshops and will be available for individual/​group-specific feedback during on-campus classes and office hours throughout the course. It is recommended that students start working on their assignments as early as possible and take responsibility for contacting the teacher(s) in case of questions. There will be possibilities for online interactions and feedback by teacher(s) and peers.
Student workload
Lectures and exercises/workshops 38 hours
Studying, reading 98 hours
Working on group assignment 70 hours
Further Information

This course focuses on digital consumer behavior, which lies at the intersections of marketing, psychology, sociology, and digital technology.

Expected literature

This course will mostly use journal articles, to which links will be provided on Canvas at the beginning of the semester. Students are expected to download these articles or find the articles themselves in CBS’ library. Reading instructions will be given at the beginning of the semester.

In this course, students are expected to extend the list of readings in relation to their assignment (research proposal) independently.


A list of selected literature can be found below for illustration only. Please refer to Canvas at the beginning of the semester for reading instructions and the final syllabus.


Adam, A., & Alessandro, C. (2016). Brand Public. Journal of Consumer Research42(5), 727-48.


Belk, R. W. (2013). Extended self in a digital world. Journal of Consumer Research40(3), 477-500.


Buechel, E. C., & Berger, J. (2018). Microblogging and the value of undirected communication. Journal of Consumer Psychology28(1), 40-55.


Erz, A., & Heeris Christensen, A. B. (2018). Transforming consumers into brands: Tracing transformation processes of the practice of blogging. Journal of Interactive Marketing43(1), 69-82.


Hennig-Thurau, T., Aliman, D. N., Herting, A. M., Cziehso, G. P., Linder, M., & Kübler, R. V. (2022). Social interactions in the metaverse: Framework, initial evidence, and research roadmap. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 1-25.


Kozinets, R. V., De Valck, K., Wojnicki, A. C., & Wilner, S. J. (2010). Networked narratives: Understanding word-of-mouth marketing in online communities. Journal of Marketing74(2), 71-89.


McQuarrie, E. F., Miller, J., & Phillips, B. J. (2013). The megaphone effect: Taste and audience in fashion blogging. Journal of Consumer Research40(1), 136-158.


Miao, F., Kozlenkova, I. V., Wang, H., Xie, T., & Palmatier, R. W. (2022). An emerging theory of avatar marketing. Journal of Marketing86(1), 67-90.


Melzner, J., Bonezzi, A., & Meyvis, T. (2022). EXPRESS: Information Disclosure in the Era of Voice Technology. Journal of Marketing0(ja).  https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1177/​00222429221138286


Leban, M., Thomsen, T. U., von Wallpach, S., & Voyer, B. G. (2021). Constructing personas: How high-net-worth social media influencers reconcile ethicality and living a luxury lifestyle. Journal of Business Ethics169(2), 225-239.


Melumad, S., Tuan Pham, M. (2020). The Smartphone as a Pacifying Technology, Journal of Consumer Research, 47(2),237–255, https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1093/​jcr/​ucaa005.


Srinivasan, R., & Sarial-Abi, G. (2021). When algorithms fail: Consumers’ responses to brand harm crises caused by algorithm errors. Journal of Marketing85(5), 74-91.


Stephen, A. T. (2016). The role of digital and social media marketing in consumer behavior. Current Opinion in Psychology10, 17-21.


Tonietto, G. N., & Barasch, A. (2021). Generating content increases enjoyment by immersing consumers and accelerating perceived time. Journal of Marketing85(6), 83-100.


Valsesia, F., & Diehl, K. (2022). Let me show you what I did versus what I have: Sharing experiential versus material purchases alters authenticity and liking of social media users. Journal of Consumer Research49(3), 430-449.


Last updated on 13-02-2023