Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior

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Penguin, 2009 - Business & Economics - 374 pages
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A leading evolutionary psychologist probes the hidden instincts behind our working, shopping, and spending

Evolutionary psychology-the compelling science of human nature-has clarified the prehistoric origins of human behavior and influenced many fields ranging from economics to personal relationships. In Spent Geoffrey Miller applies this revolutionary science's principles to a new domain: the sensual wonderland of marketing and status seeking that we call American consumer culture. Starting with the basic notion that the goods and services we buy unconsciously advertise our biological potential as mates and friends, Miller examines the hidden factors that dictate our choices in everything from lipstick to cars, from the magazines we read to the music we listen to. With humor and insight, Miller analyzes an array of product choices and deciphers what our decisions say about ourselves, giving us access to a new way of understanding-and improving-our behaviors. Like Freakonomics or The Tipping Point, Spent is a bold and revelatory book that illuminates the unseen logic behind the chaos of consumerism and suggests new ways we can become happier consumers and more responsible citizens.

 

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Spent: sex, evolution, and consumer behavior

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Evolutionary psychologist Miller (The Mating Mind) digs deep into the primal past of humankind to discover the roots of...modern marketing? Actually, his focus is more on the makings of modern ... Read full review

Contents

Darwin Goes to the Mall
1
The Genius of Marketing
19
Why Marketing Is Central to Culture
37
This Is Your Brain on Money
52
The Fundamental Consumerist Delusion
71
Flaunting Fitness
90
Conspicuous Waste Precision and Reputation
112
SelfBranding Bodies SelfMarketing Minds
128
Openness
207
Conscientiousness
225
Agreeableness
240
The Centrifugal Soul
255
The Will to Display
277
Legalizing Freedom
308
Exercises for the Reader
331
Further Reading and Viewing
336

The Central Six
144
Traits That Consumers Flaunt and Marketers Ignore
171
General Intelligence
187
Acknowledgments
362
Index
363
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About the author (2009)

Geoffrey Miller is an evolutionary psychologist and author of The Mating Mind. He was educated at Columbia and Stanford and is associate professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico.

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