The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal about Human Nature

The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal about Human Nature by Gad Saad

HF 5415.32 .S18 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?
  • Why do consumers succumb to the marketing of hope by the selling of fables, whether peddled by religious narratives, cosmetic companies, or self-help gurus?
  • What do song lyrics, movie plot lines, television shows, advice columns, advertising images, music videos, and romance novels reveal about our universal human nature?

“The answer to all these intriguing questions is “the consuming instinct,” the underlying evolutionary basis for most of our consumer behavior.

In this highly informative and entertaining book, Dr. Gad Saad, the founder of the vibrant new field of evolutionary consumption, illuminates the relevance of our biological heritage to our daily lives as consumers.  While culture is important, Dr. Saad shows that consumers around the world – and more generally all individuals who operate in the business sphere – are deeply influenced by innate evolutionary forces in similar ways.

The Consuming Instinct 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.  For anyone interested in the biological basis of human behavior or simply in what makes consumers tick – marketing professionals, advertisers, psychology mavens, and consumers themselves – The Consuming Instinct is a fascinating read.” – publisher description

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