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The Psychology of Selling and Advertising


Entry requirements

Only open to Master’s students Psychology with specialisation Economic and Consumer Psychology


One of the most important findings in Economic and Consumer Psychology is that consumer preferences are not stable, but rather are influenced by many different contextual factors, both consciously and unconsciously. In marketing practice, this knowledge is relatively new and most marketers do not know how consumers make decisions. In this course, you will learn how marketers build a marketing plan and you will practice how the psychology of decision making can be incorporated in a marketing context. You will read scientific literature on how and when consumer preferences for products are influenced by advertising. Furthermore, you will learn how to apply the insights from this literature to sell and advertise effectively.

Assume that you worked hard to develop a new product. What, based on your psychological knowledge is the best way to make consumers buy your product? What is the best way to advertise it? What cues can you best use to deliver your message? And what are the pitfalls of “bad” advertising? This course will focus on these and other questions, and on how the psychological literature can help in answering them. To reach this aim, we will read classic and recent journal articles, which we will incorporate in real-life marketing contexts. At the end of the course you will have gained more insight in the psychology of selling and advertising and will be able to use your insights in marketing practice.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • acquire knowledge of classic and recent findings on the psychology of selling and advertising;

  • be able to put these psychological insights into marketing practice; and

  • have the tools to build a well-founded selling strategy.


For the timetables of your lectures, work groups and exams, please select your study programme in:
Psychology timetables

Semester 1:
Work group sessions

Semester 2:
Work group sessions



Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions.
Master’s course 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

5 two-hour lectures, 4 two-hour work group sessions and 1 four-hour final meeting (attendance to meetings is mandatory).

Assessment method

Tests and group presentations.

The Faculty of Social and Behaviroual 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.

Reading list

Sheets from the lectures and classic and recent journal articles TBA

Contact information

Dr. Marijke van Putten