cod. 1007707

Academic year 2022/23
2° year of course - First semester
Giovanni SOGARI
Academic discipline
Economia ed estimo rurale (AGR/01)
Ambito aggregato per crediti di sede
Type of training activity
42 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit


Learning objectives

At the end of the course, the student must:
(1) have acquired the main knowledge and skills on the concepts of social and behavioral sciences applied to consumer study;

(2) being able to evaluate and debate case studies (e.g. scientific articles) that focus on consumer's food choices;

(3) being able to conduct a bibliographic review using different available sources;

(4) have acquired the basic principles and procedures to develop, conduct and analyze / interpret, independently, qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys in order to identify the main determinants of consumer choices;

5) knowing how to develop a tool for data collection in the context of qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys (questionnaire, outline for focus groups, etc.), relevant to the research hypotheses;

(6) know how to communicate in writing and / or orally the basic principles and procedures for developing and conducting consumer research.


Propaedeutic courses are not formally required, but students should have a minimum knowledge of statistics (mean, median, standard deviation) and of the foundations of economics (supply and demand, market).

Course unit content

The course focuses on fundamental theoretical analysis of consumer behavior, and the application of these theories to real case studies. Methods for the collection and analysis of data will be explained. The course will also pay attention to the link between these phases and the background theoretical framework.

Full programme

• A Brief overview of the foundations of marketing; Market-oriented
• Environment and market segmentation;
• Needs and motivations;
• Product innovations and consumers' role
• Means-end chains;
• The marketing information systems and intro to marketing research;
• Bibliography research
• Principal methods and techniques of qualitative research (survey development, sampling, analysis and data interpretation);
• Principal methods and techniques of quantitative research (survey format, dependent and independent variables, sampling, measures, analysis and data interpretation);
• Intro to sensory evaluation applied to consumer research.


Presentations from the instructor and other materials (e.g., book chapters and scientific articles) will be provided through the Elly website.

Teaching methods

• Frontal lessons;
• Classroom exercises;
• Study and presentation in class of cases (scientific articles) suggested by the instructor.

The course alternates a set of lectures covering theoretical concepts to in-class presentations and discussions of case studies. Webinars with company testimonials / consumer research experts will also be scheduled.
Students will work individually and/or in groups on different assignments, including a project work that they will have to develop along the whole course duration under the supervision of the instructor. The project work will be presented and discussed at the end of the course, and it is based on the general concept of learning by doing.

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment of learning will be carried out in the following ways:
1. Oral Exam


2. Preparation of a Project Work, delivered to the instructor in pdf format (report) and relative oral presentation of the Project Work with PowerPoint (the last day of lecture, the exact date will be defined along with the instructor). The Project Work will be based on the development of a research project on consumers and food choices. Deadline to communicate to the instructor the intention to present the Project-work: mid-November, 2022

More details:
1. The oral exam will last around 30 minutes and will include 5/6 open questions on the programme.

2. The evaluation of the project work will be based on:
1) Coherence between the theoretical aspects, the proposed research plan and its implementation.
2) Strength and extent of the analysis (ability to stress the relevant points and address the specific questions).
3) Communication skills (clarity and effectiveness of the presentation).
4) Ability to generate discussion.

- The honors are awarded to those students who fully comply with the requirements. In addition, they have to demonstrate a systematic knowledge of the topic, an excellent ability to apply the acquired knowledge, autonomy of judgment, as well as particular care in the preparation of the project work.

Other information

To promote active participation in the course, various individual and small group activities will be proposed, through the use of the resources available in Elly, such as discussion forums and logbooks.