Programme: Postgraduate
Type: Elective course
Curriculum: Communication
& Culture
Semester: C
In collaboration with M.


The course includes both theoretical analysis and practical exercise. Basic theories and research in the psychology of consumption are introduced focusing on the consumption of cultural goods and services.

It analyses why people consume cultural goods, what makes a message for these goods persuasive, and what are the psychological factors that influence the tastes of various audience fragments and their preferences for specific forms of cultural expression or for specific types of films, literature, performing arts, music, etc. The course investigates the individual and interpersonal factors that exert a psychological influence on the choices of cultural goods, services, and cultural organizations made by the audiences and finally affect their consumption behavior in the field of culture.

The course aims at a comprehensive understanding of the behavior of the cultural audiences. It is supported by in-class exercises on audience research (experiments, correlational studies, etc.) to help students identify research questions and research designs and to familiarize them with some basic tools used in cultural consumption surveys.


Indicative syllabus

  1. Introduction to the basics of psychology and its relation with consumer behaviour (week 1).
  2. The influence of cognitive skills on cultural consumption (weeks 2-3).
  3. Motivation of the cultural consumption (week 4).
  4. The influence of personality traits, values and lifestyle on cultural preferences (weeks 5-6).
  5. Demographic features and cultural preferences (week 7).
  6. Attitudes towards cultural goods and attitude change (weeks 8-9).
  7. Decision making process and emotions (week 10).
  8. Consumer satisfaction and behavioral reactions (week 11).
  9. Presentation and commenting of research papers / essay presentations.



  • To understand the significance and the applications of psychology in the analysis of cultural consumption.
  • To understand the consumer behaviour and its relation with the marketing strategy of cultural organizations.
  • To understand the processes of decision making in the field of cultural consumption.
  • To develop a cability for critical analysis of the methodological approaches and research tools applied in the cultural consumption reseach.
  • To practice in research design and the use of research tools for the analysis of the public of culture.


Required readings

  1. Allen, J., O'Toole, W., Harris, R., & McDonnell, I. (2008). Festival and special event management. Queensland, Australia: John Wiley & Sons.
  2. Blackwell, R. D., Miniard, P. W., & Engel, J. F. (2001). Consumer Behavior. Fort Worth: Harcourt College Publishers.
  3. Crompton, J. L., & McKay, S. L. (1997). Motives of visitors attending festival events. Annals of Tourism Research, 24, 425-439.
  4. Furnham, A., & Walker, J. (2001). The influence of personality traits, previous experience of art and demographic variables on artistic preference. Personality and Individual Differences, 31, 997-1017.
  5. Manolika, M., Baltzis, A., & Tsigilis, N. (2015). Measuring motives for cultural consumption: A review of the literature. American Journal of Applied Psychology, 3, 1-5.
  6. Shaughnessy, J. J., & Zechmeister, E. B. (1994). Research methods in psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  7. Swanson, S. R., Davis, J. C., & Zhao, Y. (2007). Motivations and relationship outcomes: The mediating role of trust and satisfaction. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 18, 1-25.
  8. Tinio, P. L., & Smith, J. K. (2014). The Cambridge handbook of the psychology of aesthetics and the arts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Course procedures / evaluation

The course includes lectures, research exercises and essay presentations by the students. It also includes analysis of research articles and examples by the students, the preparation of a research design and a written essay. Performance evaluation is based upon:

  • Participation in class (20%)
  • In-class presentation (40%)
  • Term paper (4.000-5.000 words) (40%)

Information about the next exam session and the final essay due date can be found in the announcements page (provided that the exam dates have been announced).