Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior

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Penguin, May 14, 2009 - Business & Economics - 384 pages
4 Reviews
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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User Review  - Opinionated - LibraryThing

This is a book in two parts. For the first part, 250 pages are devoted to an excellent summary of some of the principles of evolutionary psychology, and particularly as it applies to consumerism ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lindap69 - LibraryThing

lacked the time and mental energy to finish this esp as it seemed to say in oh so many ways how our society has bought into the marketing of more than any of us will ever need! Read full review

Contents

Darwin Goes to the Mall
The Genius of Marketing
Why Marketing Is Central to Culture
This Is Your Brain on Money
The Fundamental Consumerist Delusion
Flaunting Fitness
Conspicuous Waste Precision and Reputation
SelfBranding Bodies SelfMarketing Minds
Openness
Conscientiousness
Agreeableness
The Centrifugal Soul
The Will to Display
Legalizing Freedom
Exercises for the Reader
Further Reading and Viewing

The Central
Traits That Consumers Flaunt and Marketers Ignore
General Intelligence

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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. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with his wife, daughter and many products.

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