Not available in 2013/14
PS456      Half Unit
Consumer Psychology

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Serge Lahlou S303, Dr Benjamin Voyer STC.S312 and Dr Claudine Provencher KSW5.04


This course is available on the MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology, MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology and MSc in Social and Public Communication. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

Homo economicus (economic theories of consumption, state of the art); Homo sociologicus (sociology of consumption, state of the art); Homo emptor (traditional marketing-related theories such as attitudes, attitude change, persuasion, dissonance, anchoring, state of the art); Evolutionary psychology of consumers and citizens (competition and cooperation); Community and consumption (social identity theory, fads and fashion, alternative consumption patterns and boycott as resistance); Traditional socio-psychological theories of behavioural change (Lewin on change and action research; Kiesler, Joule and Beauvois on psychology of commitment); New theories of behavioural change and sustainable consumption (Lahlou's installation theory; social representations); Alternative approaches to consumer psychology (community engagement, consumer culture theory); The future of consumption (globalisation, sustainability).


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Indicative reading

Handbook of Consumer Psychology (Haugtvedt and Kardes, 2008); Psychology and Consumer Culture: The Struggle for a Good Life in a Materialistic World (Kasser and Kanner, 2004); Human Groups and Social Categories (Tajfel, 1981); The Psychology of Commitment (Kiesler, 1971); Choice: A Critical Guide (Heap et al., 1992); Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear (Gardner, 2009); Behavioural Economics: Seven Principles for Policy Makers (New Economics Foundation, 2005; Social Influence and Social Change (Moscovici, 1976); Resolving Social Conflicts: Selected Papers on Group Dynamics (Lewin, 1948); Distinction: a Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, (Bourdieu, 1984).


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Social Psychology

Total students 2012/13: 50

Average class size 2012/13: 13

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information