The Consuming Instinct
What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About Human NatureBook - 2011
What do all successful fast-food restaurants have in common? Why do men's testosterone levels rise when they drive a Ferrari or a Porsche? Why are women more likely to become compulsive shoppers and men more likely to become addicted to pornography? How does the fashion industry play on our innate need to belong? The answer to all of these questions is "the consuming instinct," the underlying evolutionary basis for most of our consumer behavior. In this book, the author, founder of the new field of evolutionary consumption, illuminates the relevance of our biological heritage to our daily lives as consumers. While culture is important, he shows that innate evolutionary forces deeply influence the foods we eat, the gifts we offer, the cosmetics and clothing styles we choose to make ourselves more attractive to potential mates, and even the cultural products that stimulate our imaginations (such as art, music, and religion). This book demonstrates that most acts of consumption can be mapped onto four key Darwinian drives, namely, survival (we prefer foods high in calories); reproduction (we use products as sexual signals); kin selection (we naturally exchange gifts with family members); and reciprocal altruism (we enjoy offering gifts to close friends). The author further highlights the analogous behaviors that exist between human consumers and a wide range of animals. This work, which deals with the biological basis of human behavior and in what makes consumers tick, is of interest to marketing professionals, advertisers, psychology mavens, and consumers themselves.
Publisher: Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2011
Characteristics: 374 p.,  p. of plates : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 24 cm