Consumer Psychology: Theory
Run by School of Human and Behavioural Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Caroline Bowman
Overall aims and purpose
Consumer Psychology: Theory will provide students with an advanced insight into the role of psychology in consumer behaviour. In class, students will tour the major ways in which humans can be drawn to certain companies and specific brands, and will start analysing how and why humans connect with, for example, the John Lewis Christmas adverts, why they develop preferences for Coke rather than Pepsi, and why panic buying swept the world at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the weekly blogging assignment, students will act as consumer psychologists, explaining the phenomena within consumer behaviour that are of interest to them – this could be anything, from analysing the impact of Instagram Influencers, to exploring the ethics associated with using in-store atmospherics (from music, to scents, to lighting), to the application of neuromarketing in the real world, and beyond.
Indicative content may include:
Introduction to Consumer Psychology: Welcome, course outline (including assessments), and what is consumer psychology?
Flavours of Research: How the major research domains within psychology impact upon understanding consumer behaviour
The Motivated Consumer I & II: Motivated choice, changes in motivational state, reward-related learning, implicit influences on behaviour
Brands: From what they are to developing brand loyalty
Advertising: Applying psychological understanding to success within advertising
Attention: Salience, development and enhancement (with a focus on the effects of video gaming)
Decision-making: Emotion or reason?
Global Pandemic: Impact on a Consumer World
Revision session: Preparation for the final exam
Good would approximate to the B grades:
Blogs & Exam: Student provided a comprehensive response. Material was well-organised and well-structured. There was clear evidence of a good understanding of the material, and that a deeper understanding of material presented in lectures had been achieved due to relevant further reading and self-study. There was some evidence of appropriate critical appraisal and discussion, and some evidence of novel synthesis between psychology and the consumer world was presented.
Excellent would approximate to the A grades:
Blogs & Exam: Student provided a comprehensive and accurate response, with sound clarity of argument and expression. Distinction-level answers evidenced a depth of insight into material presented in lectures, and relevant further and additional reading. Appropriate critical appraisal of evidence and discussion of material supported all responses. Novel application of psychological understanding to consumer issues was clearly evident (synthesis) throughout response(s), and was relevant, appropriate and interesting.
Threshold would approximate to the D grades:
Blogs & Exam: Student provided answers that were largely based on lecture material with little evidence of essential reading. No real development of arguments, critical evaluation or evidence of study beyond the basics (basics = lecture material and essential reading). Structure and organisation of material was adequate, but there were obvious omissions and/or inaccuracies in some of the material presented.
C- to C+
The C grades:
Blogs & Exam: Student provided an adequate response, but answers were largely based on lecture material and essential reading, with no real development of arguments, critical evaluation or evidence of study beyond the basics (basics = lecture material and essential reading). Structure and organisation of material was adequate.
Develop advanced knowledge and understanding of the ways in which the domains of psychology explain and inform a broad range of consumer behaviours
Critically appraise the ways in which psychological theory/research applies to our understanding of consumer behaviour
Demonstrate the ability to create new connections (‘synthesise’) between psychological theory/research and consumer behaviour
Teaching and Learning Strategy
FEEDBACK SESSIONS: To support weekly lectures, students may voluntarily attend two-hour weekly drop-in sessions which will run in the lecturer's office. Students may attend sessions if they require support with regard to any aspect of the course. Sessions will be student-led so that students have the opportunity to receive feedback specific to their own progress and achievement. Students should note that during feedback sessions the lecturer will not cover new content, summarise entire lectures that students may have missed, or read blog entries or 'seen' essays in entirety.
Weekly two-hour lectures will take place in weeks 1-5 and 7-10, and a revision lecture will be delivered in week 11. Lectures will cover core content and will be delivered in a traditional style. The revision lecture will re-examine key topics, and in addition to helping students prepare for the final exam, 'seen' final exam essay questions will be released in this session. In week 12, there will be an additional drop-in session during the lecture time to provide support with the end of the blogging assignment and to help students prepare for the exam subsequent to the release of the seen essay questions.
Students should expect to complete 154 hours of self-study in order to achieve the learning outcomes for this module. Self-study will take the form of essential (+ further and additional) reading, blog and comment writing, and preparation for the final exam. In addition to attending classes and voluntary feedback sessions (as required), students should be spending approximately 10 hours each week during term-time engaging in blog-writing, reading and revision for this module.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
- Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
- Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
- Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
- Retrieve and organise information effectively.
- Handle primary source material critically.
- Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
- Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
- Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
- Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
- Understand and investigate the role of brain function in all human behaviour and experience.
- Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
- Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.
- Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/pcp-3010.html
Essential: Jansson-Boyd, C. (2019). Consumer Psychology. 2nd Edition. McGraw Hill.
Supportive: Kardes, Cronley & Cline (2015). Consumer Behavior. 2nd Edition. Cengage.
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- C8N2: BSc Psychology with Business Management year 3 (BSC/PBM)
Optional in courses:
- LC31: BA Criminology & Crim Justice & Psychology (with Int Exp) year 4 (BA/CCJPIE)
- MC98: BA Criminology/Psychology year 3 (BA/CRP)
- X319: BA Childhood and Youth Studies and Psychology year 3 (BA/CYP)
- CQ83: BA English Language & Psychology year 3 (BA/ELPSY)
- Q1C8: BA Linguistics and Psychology year 3 (BA/LP)
- CL83: BA Sociology/Psychology year 3 (BA/PS)
- CL84: BA Social Policy/Psychology year 3 (BA/SPP)
- CL85: BA Social Policy & Psychology with International Experience year 3 (BA/SPPIE)
- C80B: BSc Psychology (Bangor Uni Intl Coll) year 3 (BSC/BICPS)
- N5C8: BSc Marketing with Psychology year 3 (BSC/MP)
- C880: BSC Psych with Cl & Hlth Psych year 3 (BSC/PHS)
- C88B: BSc Psychology w Clin & Health Psy (4yr with Incorp Found) year 3 (BSC/PHS1)
- 8X44: BSc Psychology with Clinical & Health Psychology (Int Exp) year 4 (BSC/PHSIE)
- C88P: BSc Psychology with Clinical & Health Psy with Placement Yr year 4 (BSC/PHSP)
- C804: BSc Psychology (with International Experience) year 4 (BSC/PIE)
- C800: BSC Psychology year 3 (BSC/PS)
- C81B: BSc Psychology (4 year with Incorporated Foundation) year 3 (BSC/PS1)
- C80F: BSc Psychology year 4 (BSC/PSF)
- C80P: BSc Psychology with Placement Year year 4 (BSC/PSP)
- C813: BSc Psychology with Forensic Psychology year 3 (BSC/PSYFP)
- C84B: BSc Psychology with Forensic Psych (4 yr with Incorp Foundn) year 3 (BSC/PSYFP1)
- C81P: BSc Psychology with Forensic Psychology with Placement Year year 4 (BSC/PSYFPP)
- C801: BSC Psychol w Neuropsychol year 3 (BSC/PSYN)
- C83B: BSc Psychology with Neuropsychology (4yr with Incorp Found) year 3 (BSC/PSYN1)
- C809: BSc Psychology with Neuropsy (with International Experience) year 4 (BSC/PSYNIE)
- C84P: BSc Psychology with Neuropsychology with Placement Year year 4 (BSC/PSYNP)
- C808: MSci Psychology with Clinical & Health Psychology year 3 (MSCI/PHS)
- C807: MSci Psychology year 3 (MSCI/PS)