The Social and Consumer Psychology area of focus (SCP) is an informal track within the M.A. Psychology Program that does not appear on students' transcripts.
If you are a prospective applicant interested in the SCP area of focus, you should apply directly to the M.A. Psychology Program and indicate Social & Consumer Psychology as your area of interest.
Social and Consumer Psychology focuses on the psychological factors influencing consumer behavior, including purchase behavior, effect of social influence, information processing of product/marketing messages, motivated goal and decision making, and assessment of marketing and advertising communication effectiveness. How organizations manage brands and situational change through leadership, structure and processes is also addressed.
Core concepts in perception, memory, social psychology, motivation, self-regulation, industrial/organizational and personality psychology are applied to consumer behavior. Statistical and research methodology training is intrinsic to the field of social and consumer behavior. The unique combination of NYU’s resources enables students to study social psychology and consumer behavior from a research perspective. Access to courses and faculty in other departments and schools within NYU allows a student to select and prepare for different career directions.
The learning objectives are to:
- Understand the major influences on consumer behavior as mediated by internal perceptual, cognitive, and social psychological processes. This includes self-concept, goal motivations, and congruence with brand characteristics that drive decision-making.
- Learn statistical, research, and computer tools necessary for academic research, consumer market research, product development and consumer satisfaction assessments.
- Understand sources of external influence such as culture on globalization/localization of purchase and consumer decision-making.
- Learn the industrial/organizational factors that impact the consumer including corporate leadership and strategic organizational change management.
- Gain a basic understanding of social media as a form of social influence on consumer behavior and market research.
Careers in Social and Consumer Psychology include: marketing, market research, corporate communications, focus group facilitation and analysis, consumer awareness education, advocacy and public policy consulting, and general HR roles within product development and manufacturing companies. Students also prepare for academic research careers and doctoral studies in Social Psychology, Consumer Psychology or Business.
SCP COURSE RECOMMENDATIONS
The SCP curriculum is flexible, and students will work individually with a faculty advisor to develop a study plan tailored to their specific career goals in SCP.
See Program Requirements link for required Foundation and Core Courses - 15 credits
Recommended Social and Consumer Psychology Courses – 3 credits:
- Psychology of Social Behavior (3 credits counted within Core B Courses)
- Consumer Behavior
Other Courses Relevant to Social/Consumer Psychology - 18 credits
A total of 18 credits (6 courses) of electives must be taken in addition to the above 18 credits. Three of these elective courses (9 credits) must be taken within the Psychology Department.
- Psychology of Branding
- Psychology of Social Media
- Psychology of Market Diversity
- Psychological Influence of Children’s Media
- Advanced M.A. or Doctoral Statistics (ANOVA, Regression, etc. by permission of instructor)
- Group Dynamics
- Psychology of Decision Making
- Topics in Organizational Psychology: Resilience and Quality (formerly Quality of Work Life)
- Culture, Thought, and Emotion
- Gender Roles
- Affective Neuroscience
- Scientific Programming
- Behavioral Economics and Consumer Neuroscience
- Psychology of Diversity
- Introduction to I/O Psychology (summer only)
- Organizational Culture and Climate (permission required from I/O)
- Personality and Organizational Behavior (permission required from I/O)
- Other: Determined in conjunction with advisement
Electives in other departments and schools at NYU
As the largest private University in the country, NYU has multiple Schools, Centers, and Departments offering social and consumer behavior-related courses. Cross-registration requires advisor approval.
- Foundational courses in marketing and branding
- Statistics courses or marketing data analysis courses not offered in the Psychology Department
- Computer science and/or database management courses that are applicable to consumer-related research
- Electives in relevant content areas such as decision-making, neuromarketing, organizational behavior and, cultural and global factors associated with consumer behavior, behavioral economics offered in other departments or schools at NYU.
- Other courses by permission
NYU schools/divisions to search for relevant courses for cross-registration include:
- Stern School of Business
- Steinhardt School of Education
- NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies – Courses MUST be within their Masters Program (not Certificate Program)
- NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering
- Adrienne Gans, Director of MA Program in Psychology, Social and Consumer Area of Focus Coordinator
- Robert Ausch
- Bill Battle
- Mariana Diaz-Wionczek
- Paulette Forte
- Jung Min Lee
- Deidre L. Kolarick
- Boaz Mourad
- Dan Silberman
- Jasmina Sose Selimotic
Note: Our Social and Consumer Psychology professors are all Ph.D. psychologists with academic and practical experience in the field and include: social psychologists, business marketing, branding and consumer psychologists; and organizational psychologists with expertise in culture, climate and decision making.