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The Psychology of Media and Communication


Admission requirements

Master’s students Psychology with specialisation Economic and Consumer Psychology


Course contents and goals:

This course offers a psychological perspective on communication in an economic and consumer psychology setting—such as communication regarding decision making in the context of health, sustainability, saving, insurances, tax assessments, pensions, or medical decision making. We use insights from (economic and consumer) psychology and communication science. Students will learn how to combine messages with different media and they learn to design and measure the effectiveness of communication strategies.
The course has a blended learning approach. We will read and discuss classic and recent articles on psychological principles of persuasion, effective communication strategies, and (new) media effects. Students will use this knowledge to create a persuasive message (e.g., poster, movie clip) and communication strategy for a non-commercial economic and consumer psychology problem, based on scientific literature, including a plan for measuring strategy effectiveness. This persuasive message and communication strategy, including an explanation of which choices are made and why, will be presented at the end of the course.

Course objectives

  • Students have knowledge about the basic principles of the psychology of effective communication.

  • Students have knowledge about different media effects, including new media.

  • Students know how to apply this knowledge to predict the effectiveness of concrete messages, depending on communication goal and medium.

  • Students know how to apply this knowledge to create a communication strategy for a non-commercial economic psychology case.

  • Students know how to measure the effectiveness of a strategy.




Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions. Please consult the Instructions registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination. Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

Lectures and workgroups (attending all meetings is obligatory): – Lectures: to cover the relevant literature – Workgroups: to work on the persuasive message and media strategy

Assessment method

  1. Exam on the basic knowledge about effective communication and media effects (50% of final grade)
    1. Grade of the persuasive message and media strategy (50% of final grade)

Final grade should be at least a 6.0: – Exam should be 5.5 or higher – Grade for persuasive message and media strategy should be a 6.0 or higher

The Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud


Information on

Reading list

  • Buunk, A.P. & Van Vugt, M. (2013). Applying Social Psychology: From problems to solutions. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.

  • Cialdini, R.B. (2007). Influence. The Psychology of Persuasion. New York: Collins.

  • TBA: Literature on media effects


Mw. Dr. Marret Noordewier
Room 2 A41