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2023/2024  KAN-CPSYV3006U  Consumer Psychology

English Title
Consumer Psychology

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, Third 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
  • Alexander Josiassen - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
  • Florian Kock - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Customer behaviour
  • Marketing
  • Business psychology
Teaching methods
  • Online teaching
Last updated on 06-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: This course aims to introduce to students the domain of consumer psychology. The specific learning objectives of the course are the following:
  • Describe and discuss the various concepts in consumer psychology.
  • Be able to apply the consumer psychology concepts to identify and explain consumers‘ behaviors and choices.
  • Present a clear and coherent argument for your choice of relevant theories and models.
  • Critically assess the value and relevance of models, concepts and theories presented throughout the course.
  • Identify and discuss practical implications and limitations of applying specific theories, models, and concepts from the course.
  • To follow academic conventions in the written presentation.
Course prerequisites
Consumer Psychology:
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 Project
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn and Spring
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course is designed to help students become curious discoverers and astute thinkers for consumption phenomena and challenges that organizations face. The consumer psychology course provides a comprehensive coverage of theories, concepts and management tools to understand the “minds, hearts and motives” of consumers.


An important question facing businesses in this time is how a pandemic such as the COVID-19 affects consumers and firms. Be it such an extraordinary situation, or the mere purchase of a smartphone, of a luxury bag or a holiday destination, the foundation of an organization's success lies in understanding how consumers think, feel, choose, and consume products and services. In most cases, the answer to these questions can be obtained by drawing on the extensive field of psychology. Over the last two decades, marketing researchers and managers have increasingly recognized the potential of psychology to understand consumer behavior.


The topics discussed in this course can be grouped in four broad psychology clusters. Each cluster comprises various consumer psychology applications:


Attitude, Motivation and Personality

  • Image and Brand Personality
  • Mental Processing and Decision-Making
  • Consumer Motivations and Goals (e.g., Hedonism and Utilitarianism)

Emotions, Feelings and Moods

  • Consumer-Brand Relationships (e.g. Brand Love)
  • The Influence  of Emotions on Judgment and Decision-Making
  • Sensory Marketing

Evolutionary Psychology

  • Evolutionary Needs and Consumer Behavior
  • Luxury and Status Consumption
  • Sexual Signaling Consumption

Stereotyping, Culture and Intergroup Behavior

  • Country Biases: Ethnocentrism, Animosity, Disidentification, Affinity
  • Country-of-origin and Destination Image
  • Consumer Identities and Values


In addition, this courses features a session on 'Consumer Well-Being' and 'Nudging', and a wrap-up.


By facilitating cutting edge knowledge and critical thinking the course also reflects the aims in the Nordic Nine. 


Description of the teaching methods
Most teaching activities will take place online in order to ensure a most effective and efficient self-paced learning experience. Teaching activities include elements of online lectures, digital class discussions and Q&A forums and a voluntary, but highly recommended, online project emphasizing the application of key psychology concepts and involving a peer-review and discussion session. Active and constructive participation in discussions, group work, quizzes and the online project is expected in addition to weekly readings.
Feedback during the teaching period
The students will receive feedback in class discussions and on the online project. There is a continuous opportunity to ask questions and receive answers. The course also relies on student to student feedback during discussions and online project.
Student workload
Preparation for class 123 hours
In class (online live and recorded) 33 hours
Exam 50 hours
Expected literature

Selected texts from the course:


Aaker, J., Garbinsky, E. N., & Vohs, K. (2011). Cultivating admiration in brands: Warmth, competence, and landing in the 'Golden Quadrant'. Journal of Consumer Psychology.


Batra, R., Ahuvia, A., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2012). Brand love. Journal of Marketing, 76(2), 1-16.


Dunn, E. W., Gilbert, D. T., & Wilson, T. D. (2011). If money doesn't make you happy, then you probably aren't spending it right. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 21(2), 115-125.


Fournier, S., & Alvarez, C. (2011). Brands as relationship partners: Warmth, competence, and in-between. Journal of Consumer Psychology.


Griskevicius, V., & Kenrick, D. T. (2013). Fundamental motives: How evolutionary needs influence consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 23(3), 372-386.


Josiassen, A. (2011). Consumer disidentification and its effects on domestic product purchases: An empirical investigation in the Netherlands. Journal of Marketing, 75(2), 124-140.


Klein, J. G., Ettenson, R., & Morris, M. D. (1998). The animosity model of foreign product purchase: An empirical test in the People's Republic of China. The Journal of Marketing, 89-100.


Pham, M. T. (2004). The logic of feeling. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 14(4).


Wang, Y., & Griskevicius, V. (2014). Conspicuous consumption, relationships, and rivals: Women's luxury products as signals to other women. Journal of Consumer Research, 40(5), 834-854.

Last updated on 06-02-2023