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Emotions and (Ir)rationality in Economic Behaviour


Admission requirements

Master’s students in Psychology specialisation 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 (2012-2013):

Mode of instruction

Seven seminars (attendance of meetings is obligatory).

Assessment method

  • Written assignments

  • Presentations

  • End paper

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


Course enrolment

Students need to enrol for the course via uSis on the master’s introduction and course enrolment day that takes place at the start of each semester. Please, consult the master’s agenda Psychology.

Contact information

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