Course Description

Diploma in the Psychology of Retail & Consumer Behaviour – April 2021

City Colleges

Course Overview

This course is based on theories developed in psychology and builds a bridge to various marketing concepts. The conceptual framework of the course breaks the causes of behaviour up into types of psychological responses such as, perceiving, reasoning, feeling, learning, or remembering.

These psychological responses intervene between the marketing mix (input) and the behaviour of consumers, such as purchase or usage (output). The psychological responses hence provide a framework as to why certain marketing inputs lead to certain outputs, that is, a framework to derive strategically relevant consumer insights.

The course also reviews a range of simple but powerful levers that can influence consumer behaviour in unexpected ways.


According to Sabine Kuester, “Consumer behaviour is the study of individuals, groups, or organizations and the processes they use to select, secure, use, and dispose of products, services, experiences, or ideas to satisfy their needs and wants. It is also concerned with the social and economic impacts that purchasing and consumption behaviour has on both the consumer and wider society”.

The subject takes elements from psychology, sociology, social anthropology, marketing and economics, especially behavioural economics. It examines how emotions, attitudes and preferences affect buying behaviour.

Kahle, Minton et al, consider the characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics, personality lifestyles and behavioural variables such as usage rates, usage occasion, loyalty, brand advocacy, willingness to provide referrals, in an attempt to understand people’s wants and consumption are all investigated in formal studies of consumer behaviour. The study of consumer behaviour also investigates the influences, on the consumer, from groups such as family, friends, sports, reference groups, and society in general.

There are various types of marketing mix decisions examined on this Diploma and each one focuses one a type of decision (e.g., pricing, advertising, creating experiences). Within this context the course we then consider psychological principles that predict how consumers typically respond to different decisions the marketer could take.

Course Content

Theme 1 – The Marketplace & Consumer Society
• Buying, Having, Being

Theme 2 – The Individual Consumer
• Perception
• Learning and Memory
• Motivation

Theme 3 – The Decision-Making Process
• Attitudes and Persuasion
• Decision-making/Buying and Disposing
• Organisational and Household Decision-Making

Theme 4 – The Social Consumer
• The Self
• Groups and Social Media
• Lifestyle and Subcultures

Week 1 – Introduction: The Psychological Framework
Week 2 – Choosing Advertising and Promotions Based on Consumer Insight
Week 3 – Setting Strategic Objectives for the Distribution Channel
Week 4 – Choosing Advertising Executions
Week 5 – Applying the Framework to a Business 2 Business Problem
Week 6 – The Psychology of Purchase
Week 7 – Creating Brand Identities
Week 8 – Doing Research to Gain Consumer Insights
Week 9 – The Psychology of Pricing
Week 10 – Improving a Negative Brand Image/Saving a Positive One

Course Aims

  • Firstly, to gain an understanding of the psychological principles by which the marketing mix that consumers are exposed to and how it influences them.
  • Secondly, to use this understanding to develop strategically relevant consumer insights.
  • Thirdly, by so doing, be able to identify the key psychological reasons for why particular consumers in particular situations behave the way they do.
  • Finally, to translate this understanding into effective marketing mix decisions.

College Name City Colleges
Course Category Business
Course Location Dublin, Ireland
Location Postcode Dublin 2
Course Start Date 26th April 2021
Course Fee €695/€995
Course Duration 10 weeks
For information about City Colleges, please visit our college page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

City Colleges

Wicklow House, 84-88 South Great George’s Street, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

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City Colleges
Wicklow House
84-88 South Great George’s Street, Dublin
Republic of Ireland
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