Please note: The Social and Consumer Psychology area of focus (SCP) is an informal track within the General MA Psychology Program. If you are a prospective applicant interested in the SCP area of focus, you should apply directly to the General MA Psychology Program and note in your statement of purpose that your interest is in the SCP area of focus. 

SCP Program Description
SCP Course Recommendations
SCP Faculty


The NYU General Masters Degree area of focus in 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.

Click here for the NYU Social & Consumer Psychology Association website

Core concepts in perception, memory, social psychology/cognition, 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 to study social psychology and consumer behavior from a research perspective and to have access to courses and faculty in other departments and schools within NYU allows a student to select and prepare for multiple career directions while fulfilling the following learning objectives:

  1. Understand the major influences on consumer behavior mediated by internal perceptual, cognitive, and social psychological processes. This includes self-concept goal motivations and congruence with brand characteristics that drive decision-making.

  2. Learn statistical, research, and computer tools necessary for academic research, consumer market research, product development and consumer satisfaction assessments.

  3. Understand sources of external influence such as culture on globalization/localization of purchase and consumer decision-making.

  4. Learn the industrial/organizational factors that impact the consumer including corporate leadership and strategic organizational change management.

  5. Gain a basic understanding of social media as a form of social influence on consumer behavior and market research.

Career pathways with the Social and Consumer Psychology area of focus 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 with this area of focus. Note:  The area of focus in Social and Consumer Psychology is available as an informal track that does not appear on students' transcripts. For more information on the field of consumer psychology, including career opportunities, we recommend looking into APA's Division 23, the Society for Consumer Psychology.


In the context of the broader requirements of the MA program, the suggested options for a 36-credit curriculum with a social and consumer psychology area of focus are listed below. Students will work individually with a faculty advisor to develop a study plan tailored to their specific career goals in this area.

Please Click Here for the General Psychology Program Requirements 

Recommended Social and Consumer Psychology Courses – 6 credits:

  1. Psychology of Social Behavior 
  2. Consumer Behavior

Elective Social and Consumer Psychology Courses – 18 credits

A total of 18 credits (6 courses) of electives must be taken in addition to the General Psychology requirements and the Social and Consumer recommended courses. Three of these elective courses (9 credits) must be taken within the Psychology Department. The other three can be taken across other schools/departments at NYU. Exceptions require advisement permission.

Psychology Department Electives Relevant to Social/Consumer Psychology

  1. Psychology of Branding
  2. Psychology of Social Media Applications
  3. Psychology of Market Diversity & Segmentation
  4. Psychology Children's TV and Media Influence
  5. Advanced Doctoral Statistics (ANOVA, Regression, etc. by permission of instructor)
  6. Group Dynamics
  7. Psychology of Decision Making
  8. Topics in Organizational Psychology: Resilience and Quality (formerly Quality of Work Life)
  9. Culture, Thought, and Emotion
  10. Gender Roles
  11. Affective Neuroscience (if not taken as a Core B course)
  12. Introduction to I/O Psychology (summer only)
  13. Organizational Culture and Climate (permission required from I/O)
  14. Personality and Organizational Behavior (permission required from I/O)
  15. 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. You may take up to three elective courses from other divisions of NYU to broaden your perspective on the topic unless you have permission from the director to take four.  The courses must be related to your course of study in the Psychology Department's MA program. Typically, cross-registration is approved for course in:
  • 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.
For more information about faculty, see