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Psychology of Advertising


Entry requirements

Students must have completed the first-year Psychology course in Social and Organisational Psychology or a comparable course.


Advertising is a powerful force, seducing consumers into buying wanted and sometimes unwanted products and services, donating to charity or changing our health-related lifestyles for better or worse. The impact of advertising is often subtle and implicit, but sometimes blatant and impossible to overlook. This course discusses key topics from the fields of social and consumer psychology and addresses questions such as: what is the impact of advertising on consumer behaviour? Which psychological processes make advertising effective? How do consumers make sense of advertising messages? And how do new online and digital technologies affect consumer behavior?

The course provides an overview of psychological findings on the impact of advertising and discusses this research in the context of recent developments in the field of psychology. The course provides greater insight into how consumer decisions are made and is therefore relevant for students who are interested in the interplay between marketing, psychology, and consumer behaviour.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, the student:

  • will be able to recognize and reproduce knowledge about the most important theories, paradigms, and empirical findings in the field of the psychology of advertising; and

  • will be able to apply this knowledge of the psychology of advertising to understand and analyze consumer behaviour.


For the timetables of your lectures, workgroups, and exams, select your study programme.
Psychology timetables

Lectures Exams



Students need to register for lectures, workgroups and exams.
Instructions for registration in courses for the 2nd and 3rd year


Elective students have to enroll for each course separately. For admission requirements contact your study advisor.

Exchange/Study abroad

For admission requirements, please contact your exchange coordinator.


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

8 2-hour lectures

Assessment method

Final exam with 40 multiple-choice and 5 essay questions. The multiple-choice questions count for 70% of the grade and the essay questions count for 30% of the grade. The reading materials and the information presented in lectures will be part of the exam material.

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.

Reading list

  • Fennis, B. M., & Stroebe, W. (2015). The Psychology of Advertising. Psychology Press.

Contact information

Dr. G. J. Lelieveld