MKT46030 Nudging Consumer Choices

Academic Year 2021/2022

A good marketer will know that consumers are not always rational. Consumers can sometimes make choices and decisions that appear to be against their best interest. A great marketer, on the other hand, will know that there is actually a systematic rationale behind why customers tend to behave in such a seemingly irrational manner. A great marketer can use this knowledge to not only help the interests of the firm, but also to be a responsible human being by nudging consumers to make better choices/decisions that improve their own lives and that of the people around them.

In this course, we will explore various ‘behavioral levers’ and ‘constructs’ related to consumers’ behavior, which can assist marketers and policy makers to anticipate influences on consumers’ decision making, so as to help consumers make better choices. We will learn about various aspects of consumers’ judgment, decision making, and consequent behavior. We will briefly explore topics such as Prospect Theory & Mental Accounting, various Choice Context specific effects, Consumer Mindsets etc. We will also explore the role of Social Influences in shaping consumer behavior by understanding the role and influences of certain social factors such as Norms, Social Comparison etc. Lastly, we will also discuss how certain aspects central to the consumer, such as how they think about themselves and how they want to express themselves, can also influence their judgment and choices. By understanding these dynamics behind consumers’ choices and behavior, we can be better equipped to ‘Nudge’ consumers to make better decisions that ensure their own well-being as well as that of the society around them.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

• Understand various fundamental concepts and theories of consumers’ judgment and decision making.
• Understand the role of social influences in consumer behavior.
• Understand certain aspects of how consumers think about themselves (self-concept) and how they express themselves (self-expression)
• Learn how to leverage knowledge of consumers’ decision making to anticipate and/or nudge consumers' decision making in the marketplace and society.

Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: Review and Critique Papers (Individual)
[Note: Students can refer to the Module Outline for more details about the deliverables associated with this component]
Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Group Project: Group Project (Group)
[Note: Students can refer to the Module Outline for details about the deliverables required throughout the semester for this Group Project component]
Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Continuous Assessment: Class Participation (Individual)
Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

The instructor will attempt to provide general feedback for submitted work relating to the 'Review and Critique Paper' as well as the 'Group Project' components at the earliest (within two weeks after submitting the deliverable or the standard timeframe that is expected as per the university policy), but the assigned points and/or provisional letter grades for the components will only be shared with the students after the conclusion of the course. Feedback may be provided generally in class, or individually if required through brightspace or email upon the instructor's discretion. Specific to Group Project: Student groups are encouraged to periodically update and seek feedback from the instructor as they work towards their project deliverables. Students can refer to the Module Outline for more details.

There is no formal text book for this course. Instead, each session will have an assigned list of readings.
The list consists of empirical articles that have appeared in psych, econ and marketing journals. [Note: These papers can be searched in more detail by using the Google Scholar tool and students should not typically have any problems in accessing these papers through the UCD library and its resources. UCD library provides access to most of the important journals where these articles or papers have been published]. The detailed list of these papers will be provided to the students in the Module Outline, and the students will be able to search and read the papers themselves through the UCD library.
In addition to the reading list, students are recommended to read two accompanying books, which are listed below:
1. "Nudge: The Final Edition" by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein; Penguin, 2021.
2. "Contagious: Why Things Catch On" by Jonah Berger; Simon and Schuster, 2016.

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