This course is concerned with when, why, how, where and what people do or do not buy products. Its goals are to provide conceptual understanding of buyer behavior, to provide experience in the application of buyer behavior concepts to marketing management and social policy decision making, and to develop analytic capability in using behavioral research data and methodology.
This course introduces students to major concepts and theories in the social and decision sciences. In particular, it focuses on how cognition and emotion shape judgment and choice. Class meetings include a mixture of lecture and discussion. It addresses such questions as: How would a rational actor behave and what are departures from this model of behavior? In what ways do specific emotions influence judgments and choices? Can information shape our choices even if we do not consciously recognize the information? Throughout the course, the emphasis is on on understanding: (1) basic theories and research findings of decision science and psychology, and (2) the relevance of research findings to everyday life.
Classic economic theory suggests that people make choices based on the anticipated utility (i.e., pleasure) they imagine alternatives to yield, and are accurate when predicting their future affect. In contrast to these assumptions, behavioral decision research has shown that people make systematic errors in assessment of utility, which lead them to choose options that are less desirable than their alternatives. This upper level undergraduate seminar examines how the desirability of experiences, ideas, consumer goods, and public resources is determined. By reading, critiquing, and discussing psychological research it explores how preferences vary in accordance with perceiver’s context, previous experience, memory, focus of attention, culture, and emotions. It incorporates empirical research on strategic games, contingent evaluation, and quality of life measures to see how preferences are constructed, affect legal decisions, and shape public policy.
This graduate course examines the affective, cogntive, and motivational processes involved in human judgment and decision making, and the accuracy of human judgment and decision making. Class meetings include a mixture of lecture and discussion, with a strong emphasis on discussion. Students learn to critically evaluate advanced theories and research, and to carefully articulate those critiques orally and in writing.