Course Details

Title Consumer Psychology (Mixed)
Field of Study Social science
Professor Nikki Wingate (
Type Academic course
Credits 3
Contact hours 45
Schedule Session A
Course code ISS1118
Course number 18538

This course will explore psychological foundations and applications of consumption in our society. Why do we buy things that we don’t need? Why can’t we ever stick to our plans? Why do we want to do what’s forbidden? We will study psychological reasons behind answers to these questions regarding consumption by examining relevant psychological theories and latest research. Students will analyze real-world cases by reflecting upon own consumption experiences during class field trips to major shopping and consumption destinations.

*About Course Type
This course will be taught by an instructor highly skilled in online teaching. Each
day, the lecture will be provided synchronously in the pre-recorded video format,
interspersed with multimedia materials from current events and prominent speakers within the relevant disciplines of decision science, social psychology, and marketing.
Each recorded lecture will be followed immediately with real-time discussions where each student will be asked to post his/her thoughts on answering thoughtprovoking questions. After the initial posting, students will be encouraged to share feedback on postings of classmates immediately, to contribute to the progress of mutual learning and intellectual stimulation. Upon completion of the discussion postings, students will then break out into small groups to work together with their group members to complete bite-sized pieces of the group project throughout the first week, where tackling each piece will help all study together to prepare for midterm essays and final papers. Depending on the total number of students enrolled, the Instructor will set aside one-on-one and/or individual group meetings synchronously throughout the two weeks to answer questions personally and to guide development of the final papers as well as to help with group projects.


• Students will be familiar with the psychological theories explaining various
consumption experiences and phenomena
• Students will be able to explain relevance and value of consumer psychology in
an applicative setting of shopping and consumption destinations


*Pre-Knowledge: Having taken Introduction to Psychology or Principles of Marketing prior to taking this course will be helpful, but not mandatory.
*Textbook/Materials: Materials will be provided by the professor in class and via email. There is no set textbook to purchase. All resources are free of charge. Multimedia resources will be used extensively.

Group Project
Lesson Plan
Class 1: Foundations and overview of the course
Class 2: Choices and Meaning
Class 3: Self-Control and Ego Depletion
Class 4: Regulatory Fit and Construal Level Theory
Class 5: Group Project: Field observations of commercial establishments taking advantage of the consumer psychology phenomena
Class 6: Midterm Essay (Open-everything exam, taken individually, on line using Google Form during the first half of the class period. I will provide you with a Study Guide and a list of 3 ‘candidate questions’ from which you will be randomly given ONE question to write your short essay (word count between 500 and 1000).
Class 7: Hedonic Consumption
Class 8: Vice consumption
Class 9: Impediments to Goal Achievement and Contextual Influences
Class 10: Final Paper (The paper does not need to be long (Word count between 1000 and 2000) but must reflect your thoughts on how psychological phenomena we will have learned in this course are applied in real life and must include at least 3 pieces of photo evidence that you will collect during your field observations)
Last Updated October 14, 2020
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