Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


In completing this course, the student will learn about the key concepts, theories, and models in the field of psychological and behavioral consumer research.

Credits: 6

Schedule: 18.05.2019 - 29.06.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Kristina Wittkowski

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Ilona Mikkonen

Contact information for the course (valid 13.03.2019-21.12.2112):

Credits: 6

Schedule: 28.05.2018 - 31.07.2018

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Ilona Mikkonen

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

For any questions/comments/issues related to the course in general, it is best to contact us through the Discussion Forum. Please do not forget to click the button "Send forum post notifications with no editing-time delay". That way we are informed that you send us a message and can respond ASAP.

For any personal matters related to your individual case only, feel free to send Tanya ( or me (

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The course content comprises of knowledge from three key domains: (a) consumer affect and cognition (b) consumer behavior, and (c) consumer environment. Accordingly, this course describes the thoughts and feelings people experience and the actions they perform in consumption processes. It also explains the various things in the environment that influence these thoughts, feelings and actions.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course was designed to achieve the following Learning Outcomes:

    Students will be able to:

    - explain why consumers act as they do

    - identify central theories, concepts, and models in consumer psychology and behavior

    - describe how consumers obtain and use information to meet their needs

    - tell how consumers make decisions, which factors influence their decisions and behavior

    - evaluate which tools are effective marketing instruments to influence consumers’ (buying) behavior

    Thus, in this course, we study WHY consumers act the way they do and for example, purchase products or services. During the course, we look into the psychological core, or the important underlying cognitive processes that help explain why consumers act the way they do, choose certain products or services (over others), and/or respond to certain marketing stimuli. Therefore, this course looks at and provides an explanation of:

    -  the history of Consumer Psychology

    - theories that are key to understanding and interpreting Consumer Psychology

    - the importance of consumers’ motivation, attention, and perception

    - how consumers comprehend information and form and adopt their attitudes, and form and retrieve memories

    - how consumers make judgments and decisions

    - and how external influencing factors and processes impact the individual consumer’s decision-making

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Compulsory individual and course assignments.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The assessments methods used in the course consist of four Individual and one Group Assignment. A maximum number of 15 points can be scored in each of the Individual Assignments, and a maximum number of 40 points can be scored in the Group Assignment. Only Assignments that are handed in on time will be graded. It is essential that students contribute to the group work, free-riding will be penalized.

    The course points will be converted to the grading scale 0-5 as follows

    94 or more = 5

    83-93  = 4

    72-82  = 3

    61-71  = 2

    50-60  = 1

    below  50 = 0 / Fail 

    Individual and Group Assignments should all follow a scientific writing format. Next to referring to the learning material provided as part of the course material, students are strongly encouraged to independently search for relevant sources and to refer to those in the text. References mentioned in the text, should be listed at the end of each assignment. Assignments will be graded across the following factors:

    • Reflection of personal learning
    • Application of content learned
    • Review of Literature
    • Discussion and interpretation of findings, implications
    • Structural Development of the Idea
    • Language use, grammar and spelling

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    6 credits, 160 hours:

    • online lectures
    • compulsory assignments and independent learning

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The following recommendations may help students to better decide on how to attribute their time :

    course comprises of 12 Modules (please see Details on Course Content).
    It is estimated that students spend on average 8 hours on each module
    (96 hours in total).

    addition, students should spend approximately 6 hours on each of the
    four Individual Assignments (24 hours in total). An additional 40 hours
    should be dedicated to the Group Project.


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    A collection of articles and book chapters assigned by the lecturer

  • Applies in this implementation:

    To achieve the learning outcomes, a mix of the following learning materials is provided:

    • teaching videos
    • scientific articles
    • book chapters
    • youtube videos and TedX talks

    Next to working through these materials independently, students are invited to discuss their perceptions, thoughts, comments, questions with the teachers and their fellow students in the MyCourses online Discussion Forum. In addition, individual and group assignments should help students to foster and apply their acquired knowledge.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    All students who are admitted to the MSc Program of Marketing can follow this course. Exchange students with a Bachelor degree in Business, or with another Bachelor degree including a minor in Marketing are also admitted. This course assumes basic knowledge of consumer behavior at an introductory marketing level.

Registration for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Registration via WedOodi. Check registration time in WebOodi.

    NOTE: Mention your group of priority upon registration.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Please note that this is a pure online course. All interaction and teaching is done online.


Further Information
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The number of students admitted to the course is restricted to 60. Priority is given to (1) Aalto students studying in MSc Program of Marketing, (2) CEMS-students, (3) Aalto students studying a MSc minor study package in Fashion Management, (4) Aalto students studying a MSc minor study package in Consumer Research, (5) Aalto students studying a MSc minor study package in Marketing and (6) other students.

    NOTE: Students are required to write own group of priority to further information field of course registration!

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Please note that this is a pure online course. All interaction and teaching is done online.

Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    Week 1:             Session 1 :   Introduction and History of Consumer Psychology

    Week 2:             Session 2 :  Key Theories of Consumer Psychology
                               Session 3 :  Perception

    Week 3:             Session 4 :  Attitudes
                               Session 5 :  Motivation

    Week 4:             Session 6 :  Learning and Memory
                               Session 7 : The Self

    Week 5:             Session 8 :  Social Influence
                               Session 9 :  Persuasion

    Week 6:             Session 10 : Consumer Decision-Making
                               Session 11 : Marketing Ethics

    Week 7:            Session 12 : Evolutionary Basis for Consumption & Neuromarketing