MCB-20806 Principles of Consumer Studies


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work1
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. IE de Hooge
Lecturer(s)dr. IE de Hooge
dr. J van Berkel
dr. JM Burgos
dr. N Sharda
dr. J van Beek
dr. ir. MG Bulkens
prof. dr. EWML de Vet
prof. dr. ir. ES van Leeuwen
Examiner(s)dr. IE de Hooge

Language of instruction:


Continuation courses:

MCB-30306 Consumer Behaviour: Concepts and Research Methods; ECH-31306 Consumer Decision Making; MCB-32306 Applied Consumer Studies; CHL-20806 Life-styles and Consumption


Note: For all questions or remarks about this course, please send an email to:
In many situations, we benefit from knowing how consumers make decisions and how we can motivate consumers. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the theory and practice of consumer studies. In terms of theory, we will focus on economic, psychological, sociological, communication, and marketing theories to understand and influence consumer behavior. We study concepts such as information processing, attitude formation, motivation, emotions, and culture.
In terms of practice, we will study four different approaches to consumer studies. All theories can be analyzed with at least 4 different approaches: communication, economical, marketing and psychology, and sociology. We will use basic theories and the 4 approaches to analyze business cases and consumer decisions in class. Also, in a group assignment you will analyze a self-chosen consumer behavior with the 4 approaches. Finally, you will learn how to critically review each other's group assignment.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- retrieve the major concepts, theories and models of consumer science as treated in the study materials and the lectures;
- explain the major concepts, theories and models of consumer science as treated in the study materials and the lectures;
- apply the major concepts, theories and models of consumer science as treated in the study materials and the lectures in analysing a consumer studies problem;
- explain the various levels of analysis of consumer behaviour - like individual, household, group, gender - and their interdependency in explaining consumer behaviour;
- explain the societal developments that influence consumer behaviour ;
- identify and correctly use four different disciplinary approaches within the multidisciplinary field of consumer studies;
- write a student essay on consumer studies.


Students will:
- learn basic theories & concepts before the lectures (self-study);
- answer quizzes and ask questions online before every lecture (self-study);
- attend and actively participate in the lectures;
- fulfil a group assignment;
- peer review the group assignment of at least one other group.


Students will be evaluated with a final exam (mc and open questions), a group assignment, and bonus points earned with individual MC quizzes (all in English). Students pass the course when the overall mark is 5.5 or higher, and the exam mark is 5.0 or higher. When the exam mark is higher than 5.0, the final mark is a weighted average of the exam mark (75%), the assignment mark (25%), and additional bonus points earned with the quizzes (maximum 0.5 added to the final grade). If the exam mark is lower than 5.0, the exam mark is the final mark.


Articles, book chapters, and knowledge clips placed on Blackboard. This might be added with a book (to be announced).

Compulsory for: BBCManagement and Consumer StudiesBSc1MO
Restricted Optional for: MMEManagement, Economics and Consumer StudiesMScD: Management in Life Sciences1MO
MMEManagement, Economics and Consumer StudiesMScB: Consumer Studies1MO
MMEManagement, Economics and Consumer StudiesMScA: Business Studies1MO
MOAOrganic AgricultureMSc1MO
Compulsory for: WUCBHBSc Minor Consumer Behaviour1MO
WUPEBBSc Minor Psychobiology of Eating Behaviour1MO