Seminar Consumer Neuroscience & Behavioural Decision Theory

Dr. Josef Sawetz
+ 43 699 1 006 5056


  • Overview of the "tools" for modulating attention, emotions, motives, judgment and decision-making.
  • Linking the interdisciplinary foundations of Consumer Neuroscience and Behavioural Decision Theory to apply the theoretical models for developing techniques for the optimization of market communication processes.

Thematic content overview (in keywords)

  • The interaction of collective, individual and situational brain processes
  • Interdisciplinary connections between Social and Emotional Psychology, Cognitive, Affective and Decision Neurosciences, Judgment & Decision Making, Neuromarketing, Neuroeconomics and Behavioral Economics
  • Levels of freedom of the “free will”. Automatic creation of prototypes, categories and attractors
  • Heuristics & Biases - decision routines/distortions: fundamental attribution error, mere-exposure-effect, validity-effect, endowment effect, third person effect, primacy vs. recency effects, attractiveness bias, sleeper effect, sunk-cost fallacy, risk / loss aversion, context and contrast effects, ...
  • Priming: the control of the likelihood of actions. Mental shortcuts. The non-trivial machine man
  • Universal metric emotion. Biological basis of emotional & cognitive reference and evaluation systems
  • The rationality of emotions: three levels of emotional evaluations
  • Somatic marker hypothesis, from mirror neurons to theory of mind
  • Motivated perception: structure of basic motives. Semiotics: schemas as anticipations
  • Evolutionary mental modules: reputation, dominance, attractiveness, fear, power, status, self-esteem, security, deception, imitation, ...
  • Persuasions techniques. Attention, mood, impression, self and decision management: sunk cost fallacy, principle of social assertiveness, psycho-mathematics, reactance, involvement, cognitive dissonance, framing, nudging, storytelling, neuro-semantics, contrast-effect, self-consistency, commitment, conformity, scarcity, reciprocity, affect & identity control theory, regulatory fit, ...
  • Impact of age, gender, involvement, situational context and personality structure on communication performance: model of "persuasive fitness" and model of "mental balancing": emotional-cognitive means-end analysis, attitude formation, consideration sets, ELM - elaboration likelihood model, hedonic detector, ...

Recommended literature

Botvinick, M. and T. Braver (2015). "Motivation and cognitive control: From behavior to neural mechanism." Annual Review of Psychology 66(1): 83-113.
Camerer, C. F., G. F. Loewenstein and M. Rabin (2004). Advances in Behavioral Economics. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Camerer, C. F., G. F. Loewenstein, “Behavioral Economics: Past, Present, Future,” Chapter 1 in Advances; manuscript at 
Dagher, A. (2007). "Shopping centers in the brain." Neuron 53(1): 7-8. 
Erk, S. et al. (2002) Cultural objects regulate reward circuitry. NeuroReport 13
Falk, E. B., Berkman, E. T., Mann, T., Harrison, B., & Lieberman, M. D. (2010). Predicting persuasion-induced behavior change from the brain. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(25), 8421–8424.
Fellows, L. K. (2012). "Current concepts in decision-making research from bench to bedside." Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 18(06): 937-941.
Fellows, L. K. (2011). The neurology of value. Neurobiology of Sensation and Reward. J. A. Gottfried. Boca Raton, FL, CRC Press: 351-368. Accessed from: 
Gazzaniga, Ivry, & Mangun (2014), Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of Mind, 4th edition, New York, NY: Norton & Co.
Gilovich, Thomas ; Griffin, Dale & Kahneman, Daniel (eds.) (2002). Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment. Cambridge University Press.
Glimcher & Fehr (2014), Neuroeconomics: Decision Making and the Brain, 2nd edition, London, UK: Academic Press.
Glimcher, Paul. Decisions, Uncertainty and the Brain, 2003, MIT Press.
Ho, Teck & Lim, Noah & Camerer, Colin. (2005). Modeling the Psychology of Consumer and Firm Behavior with Behavioral Economics. J Market Res. XLIII. 10.1509/jmkr.43.3.307. at, published version at 
Kable, J.W. (2011), The cognitive neuroscience toolkit for the neuroeconomist: A functional overview, Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, 4(2), 63-84.
Kahneman, D., and Frederick, S. (2005): “A Model of Heuristic Judgment” in K.J. Holyoak & R.G. Morrison [eds.], “Cambridge Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning,” Cambridge University Press: 267-293.
Kahneman, D., “Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics,” American Economic Review 93 (2003), 1449-1475; 
Knutson, B. et al. (2006) Neural predictors of purchases. Neuron 53 
Kőszegi, B. & Rabin, M. (2006). "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
Loewenstein, G., S. Rick, et al. (2008). "Neuroeconomics." Annual Review of Psychology 59(1): 647- 672. 
Manzini, Paola and Mariotti, Marco, (2013), Stochastic Choice and Consideration Sets, No 2013-28, SIRE Discussion Papers, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE),
Mullainathan, Sendhil. Thinking through categories. MIT, December 2000
Plassmann, H., Venkatraman, V., Huettel, S. and Yoon, C. (2015) Consumer Neuroscience: Applications, Challenges, and Possible Solutions. Journal of Marketing Research: August 2015, Vol. 52, No. 4, pp. 427- 435
Rabin, Matthew. Psychology and Economics, J Economic Literature, March 1998, 11-46.
Schultz, W. (2000) “Multiple Reward Signals in the Brain,” Nature Reviews: Neuroscience, 199-207
Ramsoy, Thomas Z. (2015). Introduction to Neuromarketing and Consumer Neuroscience. Copenhagen, Denmark: Neurons, Inc.1
Rangel, A., Camerer, C., & Montague, P. R. (2008). A framework for studying the neurobiology of value-based decision making, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(7), 545-556
Taubinsky, D. (2013). From intentions to actions: A model and experimental evidence of inattentive choice. Work Pap.
Thaler, Richard (2015), Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics, London: Allan Lane: Penguin Books. 
Yoon, Carolyn, Richard Gonzalez, Antoine Bechara, Gregory S. Bems, Alain A. Dagher, Laurette Dube, et al. (2012), “Decision Neuroscience and Consumer Decision Making,” Marketing Letters, 23 (2), 473-85.

Josef Sawetz
Mag. phil. Dr. rer.nat.

Kommunikations- und Marketingpsychologie, Kognitive Neurowissenschaft

Lehr- und Forschungstätigkeit seit 1990: Universität Wien, Universitätslehrgänge Markt- und Meinungsforschung sowie Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, Institut für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (Marketing- und Kommunikationspsychologie, Werbepsychologie, Database- und Micromarketing, Markt- und Meinungsforschung); Donau-Universität Krems (Master-Programme: PRPlus Public Relations, PR und integrierte Kommunikation, Kommunikation und Management, Educational Technology, Professional MBA Communication and Leadership, International Information & Communication Management); IIR; Business Circle; Lehrgangsleiter New Media Marketing Manager, Usability Manager, Knowledge- & Content Manager sowie Online-Redaktion am Wifi Wien; FH Burgenland (MA Information, Medien, Kommunikation); Werbeakademie (Diplomlehrgänge Kommunikationsmanagement und Social Media Management, Werbepsychologie kompakt, Praxisschmiede Messung von Werbewirkung); Kunstschule Wien; Wifi Oberösterreich; Wifi Management Forum (Kundenführung und -verführung, Kommunikationspsychologie für Führungskräfte, Profiling-Techniken in der Personalauswahl); BFI Salzburg & Wien; FH für Management & Kommunikation Wien (Kommunikationswirtschaft, Financial Management & Controlling); Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft und Forschung

Studien der Betriebswirtschaft, Rechtswissenschaften, Soziologie, Sprachwissenschaft, Kommunikationswissenschaft, Psychologie

Seit 1980 Text, Konzept und Beratung in Werbeagenturen; psychologische Tiefeninterviews sowie Werbemittel- und Produkttests in Marktforschungsinstituten; Bereichsleitung für Konzernkommunikation, Marketing und Marktforschung in internationalen Handels- und Industriekonzernen.

Publikationen und Awards:
Medienbeiträge ORF, Pro 7, Puls TV, Radio, Tages- und Wochenzeitungen, Fachzeitschriften, etc.:
Aktuelles Forschungsprojekt:

Kommunikations- und Marketingpsychologie

Sawetz, J. (2022)

Grundlagen kommunikativer und persuasiver Prozesse aus Psychologie, Neurowissenschaften, Evolutionsbiologie, Systemtheorie und Semiotik. Wien.
(663 Seiten, Nachschlagwerk zum State of the Art der aktuellen Theorien und Techniken, zahlreiche Abbildungen, Checklists und Toolboxes, umfangreiches Literaturverzeichnis)