Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: SILVIA MARIA RITA PLATANIA

Expected Learning Outcomes

The course aims to highlight some topics in psychology that may be useful on the one hand to understand the needs of different types of tourists, and on the other hand to implement correct and effective tourism communication. The main objective of the course is therefore to provide the student with knowledge and tools that will enable him/her to recognize the psychological variables affecting tourist behavior and explain it in the light of the main psychological theories of reference, mainly concerning General Psychology but also Social, Work and Organizational Psychology. In addition, he or she will be able to connect such knowledge and apply it to the understanding of the tourism phenomenon, using a multidisciplinary methodology, afferent to psychology and socio-economic sciences.

Course Structure

Teaching consists mainly of lectures and laboratory exercises.

Lectures aim to present and explore the topics in the syllabus, as well as to provide historical-social-economic contextualization of the main theories.

Field data collection and discussion activities will be offered. These activities will aim to stimulate teamwork, to confront one's own analytical and judgmental skills and ultimately contribute to forming the future professional in the tourism industry. Laboratory exercises will give the student an opportunity to acquire practical ways of directing and managing the tourism phenomenon.

Active participation of students (interventions during lectures, proposals of topics to be explored in depth) will be highly appreciated.

Required Prerequisites

No prerequisites are required

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance is not mandatory but also recommended.

Detailed Course Content

The course deals with the analysis of the tourism phenomenon in terms of knowledge of tourist behavior and the psychological mechanisms that distinguish it. in addition, special attention will be given, given the presence of the laboratory, to classroom exercises that will focus on the students' acquisition of skills related to the analysis of consumption and management processes to be addressed to the tourist. In particular, the lectures will focus on the following content:

- Study and analysis of cognitive schemas (laddering technique).

- Mechanisms of consumer/tourist perception and learning.

- Functions, motivations of the tourist experience.

- Choice process and interpretive patterns.

- Types of tourists.

- Social and cultural impact of the phenomenon.

- Tourism product-service.

- Quantitative and qualitative research on the psychological structural characteristics that distinguish the tourism phenomenon.

- Customer satisfaction.

- Elements of tourism management analysis.

- Neuromarketing and enhancement of the typical product linked to the territory.

- Tourism and territorial marketing.

- Facilitation and conveyance of a tourism brand.

- Adversiting and tourism brand promotion.

Textbook Information

  • Maeran R., Psicologia e turismo. Roma-Bari: GLF Editori Laterza, 2004.
  • Maeran R., Mignemi G., Psicologia del turismo, nuove forme interattive di consumo. Bologna: Pàtron Editore, 2022.
  • Legrenzi P., Jacomuzzi A., Fondamenti di psicologia generale. Teorie e pratiche. 2021, Mulino.
    Chapter 2: Percezione visiva.
    Chapter 3: Attenzione (paragraphs1-3).
    Chapter 11: Emozioni.
  • Supplementary handsouts by the lecturer (will be uploaded to studium).

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Preliminary elements of general and cognitive psychology.Legrenzi P., Jacomuzzi A., Fondamenti di psicologia generale. Teorie e pratiche. 2021, Mulino.Dispense a cura del docente.
2The evolution of the tourism phenomenon, Tourism motivation, Push and pull factors, Expectation-value theory, The process of choice, The life cycle of a product/service, Marketing strategies, Human resources, "customer satisfaction."Maeran R., Psicologia e turismo. Roma-Bari: GLF Editori Laterza, 2004.
3Tourism destination image, Digital content marketing, Customer engagement and tourism experience, Consumer subjectivity and brand identity.Maeran R., Mignemi G., Psicologia del turismo, nuove forme interattive di consumo. Bologna: Pàtron Editore, 2022
4Analysis of the tourism phenomenon and intervention strategiesSupplementary handouts by the lecturer issued during the workshops

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Oral test and practical exercises in progress:

The student/student will be given the opportunity to conduct several tests designed to achieve the required educational objectives. These tests will involve some practical exercises to be carried out in the classroom and the implementation of a research project to be carried out in the area. The work related to both the exercises and the research project will be carried out both individually and in groups and will constitute the compendium at the end of each module addressed by the lecturer. In addition, the laboratory exercises will enable students to be able to carry out the planned tests to the best of their ability. 

Students who will not have the opportunity to attend will bring the content given in the texts to the oral examination and will have the opportunity to ask all the necessary clarifications from the lecturer during his or her office hours to cope with it in the best possible way.

For the purpose of the final assessment, the lecturer will take into account:

1) the adequacy and correctness of expression regarding content and methods,

2) the ability to rework knowledge, and compare it,

3) of the ability to organize theoretical knowledge according to specific objectives,

4) of the breadth of thematic awareness and lexical correctness,

5) of the ability to critically investigate, interdisciplinary linkage and transfer knowledge to operational contexts.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

The mechanisms of perception in tourism advertising messages

The mechanisms of attention in tourism advertising messages


The tourism phenomenon

Push and pull factors

Marketing strategies

Digital content marketing

Research methods

Types of product/service life cycle

Cognitive schemas

The theory of planned behavior

Brand management

Brand love and brand hate

The value of Restorativeness and its proper use in tourism

Cognitive dissonance and regret in consumption processes