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Consumer Psychology

Module Guide 2017/18

Module Leader
Seema Bhate
Room 103E
Ex: 3138
Sunderland Business School

Welcome to the University of Sunderland and specifically to this module. This module guide
is produced as part of the University’s undergraduate programme and is designed to introduce
you to the module by giving you a general snapshot. Have a look through the guide and make
yourself familiar with its structure. At the beginning you will find a specification of the
module which tells you what the overall objectives are, and what broad areas of content the
module covers.

Each lecture uses a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and interactive sessions.
All information regarding the module guide including lecture slides and seminar discussion
areas is available on the module sunspace. In addition to class room contact the sunspace will
be used to post additional information by way of announcements and attachments. It is
absolutely essential that you keep checking your sunspace on a regular basis. As a part
of updating the module you will be requested to provide feedback by using the
University’s feedback form and focus group discussions.

I hope you enjoy this module as it places you as a consumer at the centre of all business

Seema Bhate
Module Descriptor


NAME Seema Bhate
LEARNING HOURS 200 hours, the nature of which is specified in the module guide

On completion of this module the student should be able to:

Knowledge-Based Outcomes
K1 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the different approaches to consumer research
with an emphasis on the positivist and interpretivist viewpoints.
K2 Evaluate the individual dimensions of consumer behaviour by considering issues
related to the development of relevant contemporary theories.
K3 Evaluate the social aspects of consumer behaviour in an era of globalisation.

Skills-Based Outcomes
S1 Ability to build a conceptual framework of consumer profiles
S2 Ability to apply psychological and social dimensions of consumer behaviour in problem
solving situations
S3 Ability to develop an effective customer –focussed strategy

We have been consumers all our lives. “Our very identities are tied up with our roles as
buyers and users of goods and services. Yet how many of us understand the forces that drive
our consumer choices at any given time (Foxall and Goldsmith,1994)”. This module
illustrates how psychology can be a significant tool for making sense of and interpreting
consumer behaviour without influencing it. The module specialises in understanding
consumer behaviour by providing an in-depth coverage of various established theories in
psychology and their application to consumer buying situations such as the cross-cultural
buying behaviour. The conceptual content in this module has been drawn from an extensive
amount of research available in this area. The current module introduces students to the
complexity of buying behaviour thus moving away from a simplistic approach to buying
which focuses on a demand and price relationship. The scope of buying behaviour is
considered within the framework of consumer behaviour variables such as demographic,
economic, situational and psychological. Various theoretical orientations are utilised in order
to develop consumer models to understand the complexity of buying behaviour. The
implications of these models are discussed in the context of marketing decision-making with
particular references to communications strategies, innovation, market segmentation,
branding and socio-cultural ideas and customs affecting the business. This module therefore
provides an excellent blend of theory and practice.
A variety of teaching and learning strategies will be utilised in this module. A formal lecture
on a given topic will provide a framework of the subject area. The workshops are largely
discussion-based. Various scenarios relating to specific topics are presented to students
before the sessions which will require them to conduct an in-depth investigation and
discussion on them. The nature of the subject is research based, therefore, further reading,
should form an essential part of the learning process. The students will be required to carry
out additional reading from various sources such as journals and books. Although not
assessed this will enable students to enhance their understanding of the topics and generate
information which could be utilised during seminar discussions and assignments.

3 Hour Workshop x 12 = 36 Hours
Self Directed Study = 164 Hours
Total = 200 Hours

ASSESSMENT METHODS: 100% continuous assessment.

Assessment 001 This will be your final submission and accounts for 100% of your total
mark. You will be informed of the submission date in due course. This will require you to
produce a detailed discussion of the topics highlighted in the assignment brief.

Sequence Assessment Marking Weighting Qualifying Pass Mark

Type Scheme % Mark
001 CW UG 100 1 40%


BA Business and Marketing Management Core
All other programmes within Undergraduate Business and Management Suite Option

Name: Dr Seema Bhate
Telephone: 0191 515 3138
Room: Reg Vardy Centre RV 103 E
email: seema.bhate@sunderland.ac.uk

Name: Dr Seema Bhate
Telephone: 0191 515 3138
Room: Reg Vardy Centre RV 103 E
email: seema.bhate@sunderland.ac.uk
Is the programme delivered On Campus or Off campus (please delete, as appropriate):

On campus / Off campus

College(s): YES. Approved Study Centres

Work based learning: No

Professional Accreditation: No

JACS Code: N510

Recommended Text Book

 Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective, 2016. Authors: Michael Soloman, Gary

Bamossy, Soren Askergaard and Margaret Hogg. 6th edition. This has Paper and Kindle

 Consumer Behaviour A European Perspective (2013). Soloman M., Bamossy G.,

Askegaard S and Hogg, M. Financial Times /Prentice Hall. Fifth edition.

Additional Reading
 Consumer Behaviour (2016). Z and Jim Blythe, J. SAGE Publications Ltd; 3rd Revised edition

 Consumer Behaviour (2009) Evans, M., Ahmad, J and Foxall, G. John Wiley and Sons.
Second Edition.
 Consumer Behaviour (2008). A European Outlook. Schiffman L.G., Kanuk L.L. and
Hansen, H. Financial Times/Prentice Hall. First edition.

Further reading
• Diffusion of Innovations (1995). Rogers, E. M. Fourth edition. The Free Press.
• Perspectives in Consumer Behaviour (1991). Kassarjian, H and.Robertson, T. Fourth
edition. Prentice Hall International.
• Personality and Consumer Behaviour (1971). A Review. Journal of Marketing
Research. Pgs 409 - 441.

• Innovativeness, Novelty seeking and Consumer Creativity (1980). Journal of

Consumer Research. Pgs 283-295.Journals.

Some Relevant Journals:

All relevant information is available via My module resources. The link is as follows.
you can also find the link to Harvard referencing on
The Assignment


Moderated by Graeme Price
Submission Date Please refer to the assignment brief

Submission Procedure in brief (please refer to the end of assignment for details regarding the
submission procedure): You are required to submit:

 the hard copy (to include the Assignment and Collage) at the Library front desk by 2

 through Turnitin to generate an originality report and attach it to the hard copy.

Failure to do the above will affect the final mark

Background Information.

The assignment is designed to enable you to build a comprehensive knowledge of key variables which
are significant to the understanding of consumer buying behaviour. The assignment requires you to
conduct extensive reading in order to develop a knowledge-base of various consumer research
processes and variables.

Please note the following:

The assignment has three sections designed to distribute the assignment work load in three
manageable segments. Accordingly, there are two formal submission (online and hard copy) for
the assignment details of these are provided below.

The Total Word Count for the assignment is 4000 words. All tasks/discussion questions are
equally weighted.

Please note that this is a 100% written piece of work and accordingly you will receive an overall
mark out of 100.

All discussion questions are equally weighted.

The Assignment

This assignment concerns you as a consumer. You are to monitor your purchases for the next four to
six weeks in various areas such as Electronics, Food (supermarkets) clothing (all kinds) and Shoes.

Section 1 (The collage should be ready by November 2017. Please note this is not a formal
submission. You can prepare a power point presentation or print your photographs on an
ordinary paper to discuss them.

1 Prepare a collage displaying up to 8-10 key purchases in total (ignoring small ones) you have
made in the above areas in the last few weeks. Your selection should include a range of
purchase situations highlighting the differences in how you responded in the situation.
Provide a brief explanation describing the chosen purchase situations. For instance, there may
have been times when you have either been angry, demanding, polite or felt you had to
complain. You may display photographs of yourself whilst buying, of the shop emphasising
its ambience or anything else that you think describes the purchase situation and may have
contributed to your behaviour. You should append the collage.
(suggested word limit 500 words).

Section 2
(the hard copy and the collage in the library by 2.00pm).

2) Choose two purchase situations from section one. Compare and contrast these situations by
considering the factors that existed at the time of purchase (such as in-house promotions, store
layout and customer service. (suggested word limit 1000 words)

3) Discuss these two buying situations by critically examining the relevance of:
A) Various psychological variables (that you may have covered in the class and others you may
have come across in your reading). For instance you might argue that you have held a strong
attitude towards a particular issue such as child labour, which has influenced your buying in
the clothing context. Provide evidence from the literature (secondary sources) to back up your
discussion. For instance the relevance of attitudes as discussed by others academics.
(suggested word limit 1000 words)

B) Various demographic variables and as above provide evidence from the literature to back
up your discussion. (suggested word limit 1000 words)

Section 3

4) Choose the most appropriate decision making models available in the literature and discuss
the stages you adopted whilst buying. However if your identified buying stages do not fit in
with the existing models you may suggest a variation and describe it.
(suggested word limit 500 words)
The Assessment Criteria is based on the University’s Generic Marking.
The current policies and procedures relating to assessment can be found at the following link:


Please read through the following carefully:

Additional information:

As a part of University’s Student Support Policy. You will be allocated a named
personal Tutor who will provide in a variety of ways such as reviewing your short and
long aims

2)Submission details
It is essential that you submit your work.

Please refer to Student Guide to the Academic Regulations:




1. Electronically through Sunspace (UGB310 module page) for checking with

a. A link will be available in the assessment folder
b. Students may submit drafts prior to submission and generate reports.
The last submission prior to the deadline is deemed to be the final
submission for assessment purposes

2. In hard copy through the St Peter’s Library –

o All students must submit a Turnitin receipt with the paper copy

Non-submission through Turn –it in:

The penalty for students who do not submit their work through Turnitin is that their
mark is withheld and the assessment board may deem the work to have failed.

All Assessments are subject to the University’s Policy on 'Cheating, Collusion and
Plagiarism'. Students found guilty of this are subject to severe penalties.

This is an INDIVIDUAL piece of work - If there is evidence that the work is not wholly
attributable to you, the University's policy on 'Cheating, Collusion and Plagiarism' will
be applied

Link to University Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy

 https://docushare.sunderland.ac.uk/docushare/dsweb/View/Collection-8155
If you are affected by any extenuating circumstances and cannot submit your work, for
example illness or severe personal difficulties, you must inform your programme leader,
personal tutor, module leader or module tutor immediately.


Any student who presents themselves at an examination and takes that examination, or who
submits a piece of coursework, or attends and takes part in a presentation, practical session,
or any other form of assessment cannot then put in a later request for extenuating
circumstances. They will be deeming themselves 'Fit to Sit' if they thereby engage in the
assessment and no allowance will be made for any difficulties they later wish to claim
affected their results.

Extenuating circumstances procedure:

1. The MODULE LEADER has the authority to grant an extension to the deadline for
the submission of an assignment of up to 72 HOURS provided they are satisfied that
a genuine reason exists
 Programme Leader & Personal tutor can support you with this

2. More serious mitigation requires a FORMAL APPLICATION

 See the Programme Leader prior to submitting formal mitigation to determine
if it would be approved or require further evidence
i. Mitigation applications are considered by a standing panel three times
per year. Each case is considered individually.

 IF SUCCESSFUL students are automatically deferred and require you to

submit at the next available opportunity
i. You should submit a mitigation form, available from reception.
Mitigation forms must be accompanied by appropriate supporting
evidence, such as a sick note from your GP
ii. If your mitigation is accepted, you will be deferred in that assessment.
This means that you must re-sit the assessment at the next opportunity
and your mark will not be capped.

Please bear in mind that if you know you will be absent from classes for any length of time
you should inform your tutors.

For information or to discuss an issue you are having, please contact the Programme
leader or Personal tutor in the first instance.
Other Important Information:

All teaching aids and materials are available on the module Sunspace

Useful URLs

Note: as URLs for some individual documents may change from year to year, some of
the links are to folders within the Academic Quality Handbook which contain the relevant
documents and which will not change.

University Generic Assessment Criteria


University Academic Regulations


University Student Handbook


University Policy on Academic Integrity and Misconduct


University Policy on Extenuating Circumstances


University Policies on Complaints, Appeals and Student Discipline