module specification

PY7153 - Consumer Psychology for Marketing (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title Consumer Psychology for Marketing
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 200
10 hours Placement / study abroad
142 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Mini-project (Experience) 4000 words
Coursework 50%   Mini-project (Colour) 4000 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

The module introduces students to those scholarly and applied aspects of consumer psychology that are important in the context of marketing and market research. The changing nature of the market and the consumer are examined and suggestions for new marketing paradigms based on Consumer Psychology critically analysed. Determinants of consumption patterns such as the psychological bases for brand loyalty and market dynamics are evaluated.

Module aims

This module will give the student an understanding of how consumer psychology can help organisations analyse existing markets and develop new ones in the changing economic, social and political environments. The aim is to give students a broad knowledge of research techniques; the capacity to evaluate the context in which these should be used and the relationship between consumer psychology, 'near' market research and traditional market research. The module will also seek to develop students' understanding of the relationship between market brands, their psychological meaning and the construction of individual identity. 


The changing nature of the marketing paradigm. Customers and creativity as the twin pillars of organisational success. Relationship to organisations' philosophy and culture. The different meaning of 'value' for consumers. Consuming and meaning (semiotics); consuming and identity (lifestyle and psychoanalytical approaches) and how these relate to brand loyalty. Techniques for evaluating consumer experience. Design and management of 'near' market research projects.

Learning and teaching

The course’s learning and teaching strategy follows the community of practice philosophy and the scientist-practitioner model. Therefore the module adopts a strong experiential learning focus and consists of seminars, practical workshops, presentation, class discussions and lectures.  Guest speakers/practitioners are often invited to lecture and lead sessions. There is a strong use of web based learning to support learning. In order to benefit from the module students will be expected to prepare work in advance for many of the sessions. Thus their time management, commitment to their studies and demonstration of professionalism with staff and colleagues will be a key to successful completion of this aspect of their course. As part of this module, students complete a self-learning log to include an evaluation of how this module has facilitated personal development and how they developed work psychology practitioner skills and the competencies.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the discipline informed by current research and scholarship within consumer psychology and retail behaviour
  • Analyse and evaluate the psychological processes involved in the consumption of brands.
  • Use appropriate critical analysis to identify the consumer experience of the organisation's products and services.
  • Design 'near' market research programmes aimed at linking consumer experience and product innovation/development.
  • Be able to accurately select and implement  consumer psychology marketing techniques that are appropriate to the organisations needs and that display technical robustness.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy has a strong focus on developing both academic skills like critical thinking and problem solving, and the development of professional and applied skills. Students will be expected to submit two significant pieces of coursework to enable them to demonstrate achievement of the learning aims. Each will contain two sections. Both sections aim to assess the student’s ability to select and implement/apply appropriate interventions and academic theories in accordance with the client/project context and evaluate the implementations proposed. Each piece of coursework is assessed separately in accordance with current themes within the Business and Consumer Psychology.


Baker, S., 2003. New Consumer Marketing. Wiley.
Banks, M., 2001. Visual Methods in Social Research. Sage.
Car, A. and Cova, B., 2007. Consuming experience. Routledge.
Cooper, C. A., 2006. Entrepreneurial strategies: new technologies in emerging markets. Blackwell Pub.
Cresswell, J. W. and PlanoClark, V. L., 2007. Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. Sage.
Cross, M., 2002. A century of American icons: 100 products and slogans from the 20th-century consumer culture. Greenwood Press.
Desmond, J., 2003. Consuming Behaviour. Palgrave.
Dimofte, C., Haugtvedt, C., & Yalch, R. (Eds.). (2015). Consumer Psychology in a Social Media World. Routledge. [CORE]
East, R., Wright, M. and Vanheule, M., 2008. Consumer Behaviour: applications in marketing. Sage.
Emmison, M. and Smith, P., 2000. Researching the visual: images, objects, contexts and interactions in social and cultural inquiry. Sage.
Furnham, A. and Argyle, M., 1998. The Psychology of Money. Routledge.
Green, W. S. and Jordan, P. W., 2002. Pleasure with Products: beyond usability.
Haugtvedt, C. P., Herr P. M. and Kardes, F. R., 2008. Handbook of Consumer Psychology. Lawrence Erlbaum.
hamilton, C., 2003. Growth Fetish. Pluto Press.
Harrison, R., Newholm, T. and Shaw, D., 2005. The ethical consumer. Sage.
Haugtvedt, C. P., Machleit, K. A. and Yalch, R., 2005. Online consumer psychology: understanding and influencing consumer behavior in the virtual world. Lawrence Erlbaum.
Holbrook, M. B., 1999. Consumer Value. Routledge.
Kardes, F. R., 2002. Consumer behavior and managerial decision making. Prentice Hall.
Kasser, T. and Kanner, A. D., 2004. Psychology and consumer culture: the struggle for a good life in a materialistic world. American Psychological Association.
Kohler, C., 2008. Narrative methods for the human sciences. Sage.
Lodziak, C., 2002. The myth of consumerism. Pluto Press.
MacInnis, D. J., Park, C. W., & Priester, J. W. (2014). Handbook of brand relationships. [CORE]
Mullins, J. W., Walker, O. C. and Boyd, H. W., 2008. Marketing management: a strategic decision-making approach. McGraw-Hill.
Michaelidou, Nina, Nina Reynolds, Luke Greenacre, and Louise M. Hassan. (2015) "Cross-cultural and cross-national consumer research: psychology, behavior and beyond." International Marketing Review 32, no. ¾
Posavac, S. S. (2015). Cracking the Code: Leveraging Consumer Psychology to Drive Profitability. Routledge.
Shaw, C., 2007. The DNA of Customer Experience: how emotions drive value. Palgrave.
Trott, P, 2005. Innovation management and new product development. Prentice Hall
Von Stamm, B, 2008. Managing innovation, design and creativity. John Wiley.
Woodside, A. G., 2005. Market-driven thinking: Achieving contextual intelligence. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Students are expected to access leading peer reviewed journals including Journal of consumer psychology.