Making Sense of Changing Decision Processes (SS 2017)







Syllabus to this seminar.

Contact person: Dr. Sonja Gensler

This course takes place during the whole semester.

Kick‐off Meeting incl. allocation of topics: April 19, 2017 (see syllabus)

Course grade: Presentation (2*15%) | Research paper (70%)
Please register at the examination office.

Credit points: 12 ECTS (PO BWL 2010)

During the course, please communicate and stay updated via the course page on Learnweb. Announcements, lecture slides and any additional material will be published there.




Every three years the Marketing Science Institute (MSI) publishes a list of timely research questions ( These research priorities are identified by a group of researchers and practitioners and address open questions, which are critical to answer in a dynamic and digitized environment. One of the current MSI research priorities is “Making Sense of Changing Decision Processes”.

Since consumers are now always connected, they have more choice in what they attend to. Now, the critical question for firms is how they can insert themselves — or their product or service — into the customer decision process at the right time in the right context to have an influence?

Based on this fundamental question MSI proposes several related research questions:

  • How are fragmentation of attention and digital distraction influencing motivation, involvement, and decision making?
  • How do we trade off privacy concerns versus the benefits of personalization, sharing data versus convenience, customization versus intrusion, annoyance versus effectiveness? What is the role of trust and authenticity in digital environments?
  • How does mobile change decision making and behavior? What is the impact of mobile on search, networks, choice, behavior, the overall journey/path to purchase — and specific contexts such as complex decisions, finance, health, pricing, and payment?
  • How is brand consideration and evaluation different in multi-channel environments or on different devices or screens?
  • How do consumers deal with large amounts of ubiquitous information about everything? What simplified decision heuristics and processing patterns are used by consumers?
  • To what extent do customer perceptions and experiences spill over from one domain or context to another? Does a customer’s experience with a provider in an unrelated category influence their expectations of and experience with your brand?​
  • What is the science of emotion in the digital, mobile, always on, and always connected age? What is the role of emotions in experience? How do we design customer experiences that lead to maximal enjoyment, happiness, and utility?
  • How marketing can drive positive change in behavior: new approaches to help consumers make “good” decisions and “smarter choices”?
  • How does engaging in technology change consumers? How does it influence emotions, decision making, and behavior?
  • How are wearables, monitoring devices, and biometrics changing decision making and behavior?

In the course of this seminar, you conduct an empirical study to address one of the above research questions and write a seminar paper. You present your research model, the results of your study, and write a seminar paper.


  • Professor Dr. Thorsten Wiesel (verantwortlich)
  • apl. Professor Dr. Sonja Gensler (verantwortlich)
  • Jane Johne (begleitend)