Psychology and neuroscience for CRO

Psychology and neuroscience for CRO

Understanding the core drivers of human motivation and decision-making is crucial if you want to design effective conversion experiences. This course boils down the core lessons of digital psychology and neuroscience to a set of step-by-step processes that will help you achieve true and lasting results in any CRO project.

In just 4 weeks you will...

  • Learn how to use psychological tactics to optimize user journeys and page design
  • Get cheat sheets for applying digital psychology and emotional design
  • Establish a solid understanding of neurochemicals and how they affect behaviour
  • Take part in interactive training with opportunities to submit your work for testing
  • Learn from a behavioral scientist and a leading CRO expert

This live course starts on July 17, 2018.

Brian Cugelman and Michael Aagaard
Brian Cugelman, PhD, Senior Scientist @ AlterSpark
Michael Aagaard, Senior Conversion Optimizer, International Keynote Speaker & Speaker Coach


What this Course Will Teach You

To help you cut through the clutter of hyped-up industry claims, Dr. Brian Cugelman and Michael Aagaard will teach you core lessons in digital psychology and show you how to apply them to your conversion funnel. Michael and Brian have combined their best content and developed a suite of templates and tools to make this a truly unique learning experience. All content has been vetted as grounded science that converts – no fluff.

This course is right for you if...

  • You are curious to learn more about human behaviour and what drives motivation.
  • You want to better understand the connection between design design conventions and underlying psychological strategies.
  • You want to take your optimization efforts and results to the next level.

This course is NOT for you if...

  • You want “5 magical psychology hacks guaranteed to increase conversion!”
  • You believe that building an ethical foundation of trust with your customer isn’t important.
  • You think that psychology and neuroscience aren’t that important in CRO.

Skills you should have before taking this course:

The course is suitable for everyone, however, it is an advantage if you have:

  • Previous experience from conversion optimization projects.
  • A basic understanding of UX and design.
  • An interest in psychology and neuroscience.


About your instructors

Brian Cugelman, PhD, Senior Scientist with AlterSpark

Since 1997, Brian has built an extensive career in social mobilization, digital engagement, and program evaluation. Brian obtained his PhD in Online Social Marketing with the Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, a world-leading Internet research team. He obtained his Masters in Business and Computers.

He is published in JMIR, the world’s top e-health journal. The United Nations General Assembly has recognized the impact of his digital campaigning work. He has been invited to act as an expert advisor for the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the annual International Conference on Persuasive Technology, and the Pentagon.

Brian’s training on digital psychology, has attracted experts from Salesforce, Samsung, PayPal, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Apple, Uber, numerous governments, banks, military, and non-profit organizations.

Michael Aagaard, Senior Conversion Optimizer, International Keynote Speaker & Speaker Coach

Michael Aagaard has been a full-time CRO since 2008 and has helped companies all over the world improve their online businesses. He has worked with everything from SaaS to non-profit and has experience as an external consultant and as an in-house conversion optimizer.

Michael's approach to CRO revolves around user research and consumer psychology. He is a sought-after international keynote speaker and is generally known as one of the most passionate and enthusiastic people in the industry.

Brian Cugelman and Michael Aagaard

Why we hand-selected Brian and Michael to teach this course

Participants at any level of digital marketing expertise will get value out of this class.

Emily Stone, Enterprise Sales @ Microsoft

Very innovative! Brian’s workshop provided me with entirely new outlooks on UI/UX design and conversion optimization that I will be able to apply with my clients right away. Extremely valuable + easy to understand.

Richard Estabrooks, Account Manager Team Lead @ Shopify Plus

Michael is a true leader in the CRO industry. He is one of the few optimizers that truly "gets it". His approach is based on solid research - not speculation and guesswork.

Peep Laja, Founder @ CXL

Michael is the most fearless, curious CRO I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He's one of those rare talents that can combine left- and right-brain thinking to craft intensely interesting data-driven experiments. The cherry on top? You don't just wanna work with him - you also wanna grab a beer (or three) with him.

Joanna Wiebe, Co-founder @ Airstory


Live course curriculum

Classes are 60 min and take place 11:00am Central Tuesday/Thursday.

Psychology and neuroscience for CRO

Class 1


On day one we’ll kick off the session with an overview of the full course. We’ll cover the essential concepts in what it means to apply psychology to interactive design and marketing. We’ll go over key scientific models, design processes and tools to help you see how the entire course is structured. We’ll also introduce one of the most interesting discoveries in the science of consumer-band relations.

Class 2

Psychological design toolkit

In the second lesson, we’ll walk you through the“Psychological Design Toolkit” and show you the psychology behind common design elements like CTAs, value props, hero images and testimonials. This class will transform your perspective on the impact and risks associated with each element and change the way you look at design.

Class 3

Human/computer relationships and trust

Trust is at the core of all influence. Without it, there’s not much to build on. Trust doesn’t motivate, rather it stops behavior dead in its tracks. In this lesson you’ll learn how to build authentic and trusting relationships with the people that matter to your business. This will help you win trust early on and retain long-term loyalty. You’ll learn how users form trust, how companies lose it and what to do if you suspect you have a trust issue.

Class 4

Cognitive psychology

When it comes to winning conversions, you need to win your customers’ minds before you can win their hearts. In other words, if users can’t understand what you’re offering, it won’t motivate them. In this module, you’ll learn how to design intuitive content that works effectively within the limits of human memory systems and cognitive processing.

Class 5

Emotional design psychology

Emotion and motivation are basically the same thing in the sense that our emotions drive our behavior. In class four, you’ll learn the Emotion-Behavior model and get an overview of the main neuro chemicals associated with human behavior. You’ll learn broad strategies for emotional design that include pressure tactics, incentives, retention and the risk of triggering negative user emotions.

Class 6

Processes and tools for psychology-inspired design

Building on all the prior lessons, our fifth class will give you tools and processes for designing impactful conversion experiences based on psychology and neuroscience. You’ll work with standard industry tools as well as a set of special tools developed by Michael and Brian. Among other things, you’ll learn Michael’s step-by-step process for building impactful information hierarchies and Brian’s process for complex conversion process modelling. In addition to this, you’ll learn how to use psychology to inform your creative process and overall approach.

Class 7

Psychological design audit

Psychological design audits are very helpful in connection with launching new products, fixing underperforming pages or conducting competitive analysis. In this class, you’ll learn how to audit entire conversion processes as well as individual elements. This will help you pinpoint key psychological design success factors, backfire risks and new opportunities.

Class 8

Design clinic and practical hacks

For the final class, we’ll start with discussing essential tools for psychological conversion design and practical hacks that Michael and Brian use in their everyday work. We’ll also invite you to use this opportunity to ask us any follow-up questions you might have.


Show Off Your New Skills:
Get a Certificate of Completion

Once the course is over, pass a test to earn a CXL certification.

Add it to your resume, your LinkedIn profile or just get that well-earned raise you’ve been waiting for.

Did you know CXL Institute is an authorized LinkedIn education provider?

You can add your education, certificates, badges – everything you learned and earned at CXL Institute into the Education section of your profile.

Why you'll learn more from live classes

In short: You'll actually make time for learning.

Most people don't ever complete self-study courses. It's difficult to prioritize learning over urgent items on your to-do list. (Hey, we’re all busy.)

How do we know?

  • A 2015 study shows that the current average completion rate for MOOCs (Coursera, edX, Udacity) is approximately 15%. So 85% drop-off rate. The course that received a Coursera award for having the highest completion rate — wait for it — had a rate of 20%!
  • Seth Godin reported that his courses on Udemy and Skillshare have an 80% drop-off rate.
  • We've run self-study courses for years, and our numbers confirm this

Our previous live coaching classes have had over 90% completion rates. Around 60% attended every single live class, the rest watched recordings (due to time zone differences, etc).

Our #1 goal is customer success... That you actually master this stuff. We're confident that this live class format will do it.


Enroll now

You'll get...

  • 8 in-depth live classes with Brian and Michael.
  • Actionable introductory videos to get you up to speed before the course starts.
  • Access to a private, members-only discussion group with Michael and Brian and your peers.

Need help communicating the value of this course to a teammate or manager?
Use this PDF

Enrollment ends in:

ENROLL NOW — $499.00

Teams of 2 and more get a 25% discount during checkout.

After completing the payment you can login to the course homepage.
7-day money back guarantee.