Consumer Psychology and Neuromarketing

Università IULM

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Consumer Psychology and Neuromarketing

  • Host University

    Università IULM

  • Location

    Milan, Italy

  • Area of Study

    Marketing, Psychology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Training objectives of the course

    Considering the general objectives of the program and with regard to the specific objectives of the thematic area on the management of communication processes, the course aims to examine the significance and implications of consumer behavior through the main psychological and neuroscientific theories, as well as the analysis of individual processes concerning purchasing behavior.
    In particular, the course will focus on the critical analysis and discussion of the main topics of general psychology and neuromarketing in relation to the consumption process and communication and marketing processes.

    The course learning objectives for the students who will pass the course are:

    • to know the main psychological constructs at the basis of consumer psychology;
    • to know the main techniques and aims of neuromarketing;
    • to understand the effect of emotions on decision-making processes;
    • to develop a critical understanding of the psychological variables operating in the purchasing behavior;
    • to develop research projects for the analysis of consumer behavior;
    • to develop emotional analysis projects using classical techniques and neuromarketing techniques.

    Course programme

    Considering the general objectives of the degree course and with regard to the specific objectives of the thematic area on the management of communication processes, the course content will be articulated as follows:

    - An introduction to Consumer Psychology concerning the scientific contributions of both Psychology and Neurosciences to the understanding of consumer behavior in contemporary societies.
    - An introduction to brain functioning and new discoveries related to neurosciences.
    - The process of learning with a focus on the main behavioral and cognitive theories that allow us to understand consumption, brands and communication; information retention in the consumer's memory and memory systems.
    - Senses and perception, through which the individual gathers and interprets information from the world, with an applicative study about smell; attention as a basic process that allows people and consumers to relate to the world in the first place
    - Consumption and Personal Identity. The communicative power of consumption. The symbolic function of objects and consumption for personal expression and social belonging. Consumer rituals and consumer trends. Brands relationship, brand personality, brand experience.
    - The decision-making process in the consumer choice. Limited rationality, cognitive shortcuts, and choice architecture. Applications for marketing communication, social communication, and digital marketing. The customer journey: planned vs unplanned consumption, impulse buying.
    - The system of motivation: reasons for consumption, motivation as a factor in the processes of desire and purchase
    - The impact of emotions on consumer choice, the main theories that explain them and neuroscientific hints to understand the physiological role of emotions and the different areas they activate in the brain.
    - Attitudes, definitions, and functions: how people form opinions and preferences; how to change attitudes: persuasion strategies. The role of social influence and current social media influencers. Current trends in consumer persuasion and marketing communication.
    - The neuromarketing tools: an overview of the main instruments to get activations of the different areas of the brain

    Further in-depth analyses:

    - Neuromarketing tools and knowledge applied to social communication
    - Neuromanagement: neuroscience and neuromarketing tools for organizations
    - Advertising effectiveness analyzed through neuromarketing techniques and studies

    Didactic Methods

    To achieve the training objectives of the course, the following teaching methodology will be employed:

    • lectures
    • critical analysis and discussion of the main topics
    • critical discussion of case histories
    • practical and applicative seminars for the understanding of the neuromarketing tools
    • group practice exercises

    The course will use an online community to share information and materials.

    Learning assessment procedures

    The final evaluation for this course will consist of:

    For attending students:

    - a group exercise to be performed during the semester to assess the students’ knowledge and ability to critically interpret the main topics of the course. The exercise involves the critical reading and analysis of scientific papers. The following evaluation by the teachers will allow students to obtain a score from 0 to 5 to be added to the oral exam.
    - A written mandatory examination to be taken during the official exam session. The content of the written multiple-choice test will refer to all course topics as indicated in the program for attending students. The written test will be made up of 30 questions for 20 minutes (1 point for the correct answer and -0.25 for the wrong answer).


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