Consumer Behavior

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Consumer Behavior

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Behavioral Science, Business Administration, Peace and Conflict Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

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

    At the end of this course you will be acquainted with the psychological theories, concepts, methods, and research findings central to the study of consumer behavior (Bridging Theory and Practice- Knowledge). You will be able to understand consumer decisions from different perspectives as well as to apply theoretical frameworks in different settings (Academic and Reserach Skills). In addition, you will be able to apply these theories in order to develop effective marketing strategies to influence thinking and behavior of consumers (Bridging Theory and Practice - Application). Critical reading of and reflection on scientific articles will give you a good sense of how behavioral experiments are set up and analyzed. Moreover, you will actively participate in experimental research as well as develop the skills needed to understand experimental research, and interpret its experimental results (Academic and Research skills).

    At the end of the course students will be able to:
    - explain important concepts and theories in the study of consumer behavior;
    - identify different drivers of consumer decisions;
    - apply fundamental psychological theories to real-world consumer decision situations;
    - interpret graphical output of simple experiments;
    - explain the methodology of academic articles as discussed in class.

    We are consumers, every day, every moment of the day. We consume food, drinks, education, and television programs. It is however not always easy to understand or predict the behavior of consumers. Why do consumers choose one car or holiday destination over the other? How are advertisements processed and when are they effective? Are preferences stable or easily malleable? For successful marketing management and strategy, it is essential to get an understanding of the behavior of consumers. After all, marketing begins and ends with the consumer, from determining consumer needs to finally providing and maintaining consumer satisfaction. The course introduces you to some important psychological theories on memory, learning, perception, attitude, motivation, identity and social influences. We do not only focus on “big theories”, but also study specific articles from top-notch journals in the field, thereby illustrating how research in this field is done, how this contributes to our knowledge on consumer decisions as well as to develop critical thinking.


    Written exam – Individual assessment.
    (Interim) Assignment(s) – Group assessment.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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