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MG103: Consumer Behaviour: Behavioural Fundamentals for Marketing and Management


Course Content

For many companies, non-profit organisations, and political figures, success relies on understanding the “consumers.” What is it that they really want, and why? What information will they attend to, and what will they ignore? How do they make decisions, why do they sometimes make bad ones, and how can we help them make better ones? It can be tempting to answer these questions intuitively, based on your own experiences as a consumer. However, intuitions about human psychology are often wrong.

The course will provide an introduction to the basic theories for understanding consumer behaviour. Different from traditional business management courses which often skim, we dig deeper into all the fundamental psychological theories so that you have a thorough understanding of the root theories on which many consumer insights are based.

Using a variety of methods, we will cover fundamental research pertaining to all four stages of the consumer experience;

  1. Seeking and acquiring information
  2. Evaluating this information and using it to form attitudes and make decisions
  3. Translating those attitudes and decisions into behaviour (or not)
  4. Assessing past experiences and using the assessment to inform future behaviour.

We will use concrete business case studies and examples (e.g. from the NYT, WSJ, FT, BBC and other current sources) for illustration and to apply the theories under examination. Since these theories apply equally to individual and group decision making situations, the material provides a useful framework for understanding related issues like managerial decision making as well as consumer behaviour.

Course Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the key components of the decision making process
  • Illustrate the influences on how people acquire information, form attitudes, make choices, translate those choices into behaviour, and evaluate their experiences
  • Predict what people will do in various situations, using major theories of behaviour
  • Understand the role of changing technologies (e.g. social media) in shaping how marketers respond to consumers.

This course should be especially useful to people without extensive previous study of psychology.



Kardes, Cronley & Cline, Consumer Behavior: Science and Practice (International edition), South Western College, 2010.

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice



Session: One

Dates: 20 June - 8 July 2016

Dr Heather Kappes

Level: 100 level

Fees: Click here for information

Prerequisites: None

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: Final written examination (70%) and coursework (30%) that will allow you to apply the theories studied in class to real consumer issues

Typical credit**: 3 credits (US)         7.5 ECTS points (EU)

How to apply?

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*assessment is optional – see FAQs

**You will need to check with your home institution. Read more about credit transfer here.