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Emotions and (Ir)rationality in Economic Behaviour


Admission requirements

Master students Economic and Consumer Psychology


Emotions are important aspects of human lives, but how do they function in economic behaviour? “Does envy increase the price we are willing to pay for a product?” “Does anticipated regret make us choose for safe options?” “Does disappointment with a service lead to negative word-of-mouth” “Do we shop more when we feel lousy?” These questions (and many more) will be addressed in this course. During the course, which consists of seminars, students are encouraged to actively think about the assigned readings by developing discussion questions for each meeting. During the course students will be given several written assignments in which they are asked to apply emotion theoretical ideas in the context of economic and consumer behaviour.

Course objectives

The student:

  • Has specialized knowledge of theories, concepts, methods, and research findings central to the study of emotions in social contexts relevant to economic and consumer behaviour.

  • Can apply emotion theories to economic and consumer behaviour.

  • Has developed further scientific thinking about emotions through reviewing, evaluating, and discussing literature on emotions.

  • Has developed further academic skills through presenting empirical articles and discussion topics on emotions.


Emotions and (Ir)rationality in Economic Behaviour (2010-2011):

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Written assignments, presentations, and final exam

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

Selection of journal articles and book chapters


Introduction and enrolment for courses of the first semester will take place on 2 September 2010. Introduction and enrolment for courses of the second semester will take place on 27 January 2011. More information will be available at the website of the Institute of Psychology.

NB: Exam registration will take place via uSis, and will be open between a month and a week before the (re)exam. Students who haven’t registered, cannot participate in the exam.

Contact information

Dr. W. W. van Dijk
Room 2A-21
Tel: 071 5276844