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Consumer Behavior

Marketing 302 / Psychology 335

Fall 2013
Baler Bilgin, PhD
Phone: 338-1669
Class Time(s): TU-TH. Section 1: 12:30 -1:45; Section 2: 2:00 -3:15; Section 3: 5:00 6:15.
Classroom: CAS Z08
Office Hours: TU-TH, 16:00-17:00.
Office: CAS 168
Text: Solomon, Michael R. (2013). Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, and Being, Tenth Edition.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Course description and goals:
A successful marketing strategy must be built around an understanding of consumers. Even
the most intricate strategy runs the risk of being useless if it ignores some fundamental facts
about how people perceive and process information, make decisions, and form attitudes. Using
lectures, examples, and discussions, this course will build upon research in psychology,
marketing, and other social sciences to help you understand why consumers act as they do. As
we learn how to characterize and predict consumer behavior, we will discuss implications for
designing and implementing marketing strategies.
A vital component of the course will be a focus on the research process. We will not only
examine what is known about consumer behavior, but we will also explore how researchers
have arrived at these conclusions. This should help you better understand the topics we cover
and should also leave you better prepared to critically evaluate (and perhaps conduct) consumer
research in the future.
Specifically, completion of this course will provide you with:

A foundation in basic consumer psychology.

An understanding of the numerous variables that comprise and affect consumer
Insight into how to investigate consumer behavior.
Insight into the strategies that are most likely to reach, inform, and persuade
Insight into the consumers who surround you, such as your friends, your family, and

Student learning outcomes:

This course addresses the following student learning outcomes:

Consumer behavior: Students will develop an understanding of consumer perceptions,

motivations and decision processes, as well as social influence in the marketplace.

Critical thinking skills: Students will apply their substantive knowledge to marketing
situations (such as those in the group project) in an analytic manner.
Communication skills: Students will effectively produce, interpret, and analyze written
text, oral messages, and multi-media presentations used in business.

Course format and expectations:

The course will be a mix of lecture and discussion. Everyones thoughtful participation is
required to make the discussions productive, but I would like the lectures to be as interactive
as possible. As such, I expect each of you to attend each class and to be prepared. Prior to class,
you should complete the assigned reading, noting the questions that you have. You should also
think about how the reading fits with the topics covered to date, and try to recall recent
marketing examples that demonstrate awareness of the principles addressed in the readings.
Noteshells, or outlines, are available for each lecture. You may print them from the course
folder before each class (F:\COURSES\UGRADS\MKTG302\SHARE). These noteshells will help you
keep track of the main points and key terms, and the lectures will assume that you have the
noteshells in front of you. I hope you find these noteshells to be useful, but please realize that
they contain only a subset of the material presented in class. They often do not contain critical
examples or explanations. Please do not rely only on the noteshells to help you remember all of
the details covered in class; they are in no way a substitute for attendance and careful, detailed
Your grade will be based upon the following criteria, described in more detail below:
2 Exams (100 points each)
200 points
1 Group Project (written report and presentation)
35 points (WR) + 20 points (P)
Class Participation (including quizzes)
45 points
Total possible points
300 points
The following scale will be used for converting from total points to letter grades (note that
final grades may be curved if necessary).
Total Points (out of 300)


285 and up
270 284
240 269
210 239
195 209
180 194
Below 180


*For grades B and C, plus grades will be awarded to those in the top 1/3rd of the point range (e.g.
scores of 260-269 will receive a B+). Minus grades will be awarded to those in the bottom 1/3rd of the
point range (e.g. scores of 240-249 will receive a B-).


There are two exams that cumulatively constitute 2/3 of your total grade (see pp. 5 and 6
for dates). The final exam is partially cumulative, meaning that some topics covered before
the 1st midterm will also be included in the final exam. I will announce these additional topics as
the final exam date draws near.
All exams are closed-book, and they will draw from lectures, discussions, and readings. The
exams will feature a range of question types, such as multiple choice, fill in the blank, short
answer, and longer answer. The exams are designed to be rigorous: they will require you to
integrate and synthesize the covered content in order to solve new and challenging problems.
More specific information will be given prior to each exam to help you prepare. Exams may be
curved if necessary.
For University rules governing exams, see
Assignments and Projects:
You will complete a group project designed to help you gain experience with the course
material by developing strategies for researching consumer behavior. You will also gain practice
communicating your ideas clearly and concisely. More specific instructions and grading criteria
will be given later in the semester, but some preliminary words about the group project:
Groups will design and implement a consumer research project, and they will communicate
their findings in a written report (worth 35 points) and an oral presentation (worth 20 points). I
will divide the class into groups of 4 or 5. It is your responsibility to develop a mutually
convenient plan to work together. Your group grade will reflect the quality of the report and the
presentation; your individual grade may be adjusted by other members assessments of your
efforts, which I will collect at the end of the semester.
Class Participation:
You can earn up to 45 points for class participation (15% of your total grade). Attending class
and being prepared is necessary to get the full set of points, but is not sufficient. I want you to
give thoughtful contributions and examples. Points will be assigned based on the quality, not the
sheer quantity, of your contributions.
Note that you start the semester with zero points for class participation, and work your way
up over the course of the semester by meaningfully contributing to class discussions, rather
than starting at 45 points and missing points for lack of participation.
Performance on short pop-quizzes will count toward your total class participation points.
Because these pop-quizzes are intended to serve as a proxy for attendance, they will be openbook and open-notes. Expect to have 5 to 10 pop-quizzes over the course of the semester.
Extra Credit:
The exams may offer extra credit points for answering specific extra questions. Also, you
may be able to earn extra credit by participating in research experiments. I will let you know if
and when this opportunity arises. There will not be any opportunities to receive additional extra

credit by completing extra papers or projects at the end of the semester. With this in mind, it
would be wise to take advantage of extra credit whenever it is offered.
Missed Exams:
If an emergency will cause you to miss an exam, you must contact me prior to the exam to
arrange for a make-up. No make-up exams will be given if arrangements are not made before
the exam. Missed exams will earn 0 points. No early exams will be given.
Rules governing excused absences are outlined by the Academic Council. Please visit the
following website for rules about health reports: Note
that the instructor reserves the right to decline a health report in case s/he finds that the report
does not reflect an actual illness. If you have a valid excuse as outlined above, the make-up
exam will be given at the end of the semester (on January 16 and 17 this semester).
Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct:
Ko University Student Code of Conduct ( applies to all course activities. Plagiarism, as defined as borrowing or using someone
elses written statements or ideas without giving written acknowledgement to the author, and
other forms of academic dishonesty are not acceptable at Ko University.
All individual assignments must be completed by the student herself/himself, and all team
assignments must be completed by the members of the team, without the aid of other
individuals. If a team member does not contribute to the written documents or participate in
the activities of the team, her/his name should not appear on the work submitted for
Students are encouraged to conduct research beyond the course material, but they must
not use any documents prepared by current or previous students, or notes prepared by
instructors at Ko University or other universities without properly citing the source.
Furthermore, students are expected to adhere to the Classroom Code of Conduct
( and to refrain from all forms of
unacceptable behavior during lectures. Laptop or tablet use is allowed in the classroom only
with the explicit consent of the instructor.
Failure to adhere to expected behavior may result in disciplinary action. If you are unsure
whether the action you will take would be a violation of Ko Universitys Student Code of
Conduct, please consult with your instructor before taking that action.
A final note:
Most of this syllabus is necessarily formal, but the class sessions need not be. The class
should be engaging and interesting for everyone: In addition to being important to marketing,
consumer behavior consists of many topics to which we all, as consumers, can relate. I
encourage everyone to bring up relevant examples and to ask questions at any point.

Course Schedule
(Amount of time spent on each topic may change slightly.)


Tue., 10/15
Th., 10/17
Tue., 10/22

Part 1: Introduction
Introduction to Consumer Behavior
Consumer Behavior Research Methods
Part 2: Pre-Decision Processes
Exposure and Attention
Perception and Comprehension
No Class!
No Class!
Attitudes and Attitude Formation
Group Project Instructions Distributed
Kurban Bayrami! No Class!
Kurban Bayrami! No Class!
Attitude Change: Learning

Th., 10/24
Tue., 10/29
Th., 10/31

Attitude Change: Persuasion

National Holiday! No Class!
Attitude Change: Persuasion (continued)

Tue., 11/5

Attitude Change: Self-Persuasion

Th., 11/7

Tue., 12/10
Th., 12/12

Attitude Change: Self-Persuasion

Team Organization Form due
Exam covers part 1 and part 2.
Part 3: Consumer Decision Processes
Decision Making: Introduction, Stages, and
Consumer Judgment
Consumer Choice
More Consumer Judgment and Choice
Post Choice
Social Influence and Decisions:
Conformity Pressures and Power
Social Influence and Decisions:
Reference Groups and Word of Mouth
Social Influence and Decisions (Contd)
Part 4: Differences Between Consumers
Group, Organizational, and Family Decisions / Satisfaction
Branding / Personality and Motivation

Tue., 12/17


Th., 12/19

Part 5: Final Topics

All Group Written Reports Due

Tue., 9/17
Th., 9/19
Th., 9/26
Tue., 10/1
Th., 10/3
Tue., 10/8
Th., 10/10

Tue., 11/12

Th., 11/14
Tue., 11/19
Th., 11/21
Tue., 11/26
Th., 11/28
Tue., 12/3
Th., 12/5

Read for Class

(no reading)
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 2
Chapter 3 (p.118 - end)

Chapter 7 (through the

top of p. 288)

Chapter 3
(through p. 117, 9th )
Chapter 7
Chapter 7
(no reading)
(no reading)

Chapter 8
Chapter 8
Chapter 8
(no reading)
(no reading)
Chapter 11
Chapter 11
Chapters 10 and 9
Chapter 6 (through p.
251), Chapter 4 (through
the bottom of p. 171)
Chapter 6 (p. 251 end),
Chapter 12
(no reading)

Tue, 12/24
Th., 12/26

Peer Evaluation Forms Due

Group Presentations
More Group Presentations
(no reading)
More Group Presentations
(no reading)
Final Exam
Exam covers parts 3, 4 and 5 as well as selected topics from
parts 1 & 2.