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The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption [Paperback]

Gad Saad
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 23 2007 080585150X 978-0805851502 1

The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption by Gad Saad applies Darwinian principles in understanding our consumption patterns and the products of popular culture that most appeal to individuals. The first and only scholarly work to do so, this is a captivating study of the adaptive reasons behind our behaviors, cognitions, emotions, and perceptions. This lens of analysis suggests how we come to make selections such as choosing a mate, the foods we eat, the gifts that we offer, and more. It also highlights how numerous forms of dark side consumption, including pathological gambling, compulsive buying, pornographic addiction, and eating disorders, possess a Darwinian etiology.

Engaging and diverse in scope, the book maps consumption phenomena onto four key Darwinian modules: survival, reproduction, kin selection, and reciprocal altruism. As an interesting proposal, the author suggests that media and advertising contents exist in their particular forms because they are a reflection of our evolved human nature - negating the notion that they exist through the reverse causal link, as proposed by social constructivists. The link between evolutionary theory and consumption behaviors is detailed throughout the book via an examination of (among many others):

  • appearance-enhancing products and services;
  • financial and physical risk-taking;
  • use of sexual imagery and the depictions of women in advertising; and
  • television programs, movies, songs, music videos, literature, religion, and art.

The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption will appeal to evolutionists who desire to explore new areas wherein evolutionary theory can be applied; consumer and marketing scholars who wish to learn about the ways in which biological-and evolutionary-based theorizing can be infused into the consumer behavior/marketing/advertising disciplines; as well as other interdisciplinary scholars interested in gaining knowledge about the power of evolutionary theory in explaining a wide range of behavioral phenomena.


Frequently Bought Together

The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption + The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature
Price For Both: CDN$ 68.33


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Review

'Saad's book The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption is aimed at academic researchers studying aspects of consumer psychology, students and practitioners in advertising or marketing, or nonconsumer psychologists who enjoy interdisciplinary research.  The book suggests that there is broad applicability of Darwinian principles to the study of consumer behavior... It is the first book of its kind.' - Jill M. Sundie, PsycCRITIQUES

"The key features of this book are (1) it introduces an evolutionary psychological perspective on consumerism and marketing (2) it provides an overview of some robust themes that account for systematic patterning of consumer preferences, and (3) it offers a synthetic approach to the study and understanding of consumer behavior.  The book will be the first of its kind and will inspire new directions in consumer research." - Margo Wilson, Department of Psychology, McMaster University

"Gad Saad has shown me that evolutionary psychology and consumer behavior is a very interesting subject and one I think many people will find interesting-even exciting.  The author has an excellent knowledge of the literature on evolutionary psychology and its interpretations.  He does a fine job of applying it to the area of consumer behavior.  I think it could have an important impact on the advertising industry." - Charles Crawford, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Simon Fraser University

 

About the Author

Dr. Gad Saadis an associate professor of marketing at the John Molson School of Business (Concordia University). He has held visiting associate professorships at Cornell University, Dartmouth College, and the University of California-Irvine. He was inducted into the Who's Who of Canadian Business in 2002, was listed as one of the "hot" professors of Concordia University in both the 2001 and 2002 Maclean's reports on Canadian universities, and received the Faculty's Distinguished Teaching Award in June 2000. His key research and teaching interests lie in the application of evolutionary theory across a wide range of behavioral disciplines. His published papers have appeared in such journals asManagerial and Decision Economics; theJournal of Bioeconomics;Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes;Behavior Research Methods, Instruments and Computers;Journal of Business Research;Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences;Psychology & Marketing;Journal of Consumer Marketing;Applied Economics Letters;Scientometrics(forthcoming); andMedical Hypotheses(forthcoming). He has also published in numerous conference proceedings such as Advances in Consumer Research; Society for Consumer Psychology; and the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada. He has presented his work in Canada, USA, France, Israel, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, England, and Germany at both prestigious conferences and in numerous leading universities. He currently sits on the editorial boards ofPsychology & Marketing, theJournal of Business Research(buyer behavior track), and theJournal of Social Psychology. He holds a Ph.D. (Major: Marketing; Minors in Cognitive Studies and Statistics) and an M.S. from Cornell University, and an M.B.A. (Specialization: Marketing; Mini-Thesis: Operations Research), and a B.Sc. (Mathematics and Computer Science), both from McGill University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada).

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book, rich with valuable information Dec 18 2012
By Anon.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read The Consuming Instinct (Gaad) and this book, I have to say that both were a great read. Both books similar, yet distinct information, detail, research studies, target audience (this one is more academic)... The two aren't copy paste, and should both be looked into. This book is more academic in and makes a great addition for those who wishes to learn the depths of evolution in relationship to consumption.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended! March 28 2008
Format:Paperback
In this work Gad Saad provides an excellent review of evolutionary psychology and its relevance to the field of consumer behavior. A particularly novel idea is encompassing mate choice within acts of consumption. Although not an easy read, once you begin to see how much Saad's ideas provide a paradigm shift in the field of consumer (and human) behavior, you will definitely want to reread this book in order to relish all its nuances. If new to the field of consumer behavior, you shall learn much about the evolutionary bases for your everyday decisions, from buying a car to accepting a date and choosing a perfume. I gained much knowledge from this book and consider it a must read for anybody interested in a scientifically rigorous review of human behavior in the field of consumption. You will not be disappointed!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT!!! July 26 2007
Format:Hardcover
I was forced to buy this book because the author did not want to come and see my child. But all in all he does bring up some interesting points on consumer trends in purchasing.
Now if we could only change the way the monkeys (human) consume!!!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good review Sept. 26 2009
Format:Paperback
Shipping was quick, item was in good shape. No hassle. I got what i paid for.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended. March 28 2008
By BB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In this work Gad Saad provides an excellent review of evolutionary psychology and its relevance to the field of consumer behavior. A particularly novel idea is encompassing mate choice within acts of consumption. Although not an easy read, once you begin to see how much Saad's ideas provide a paradigm shift in the field of consumer (and human) behavior, you will definitely want to reread this book in order to relish all its nuances. If new to the field of consumer behavior, you shall learn much about the evolutionary bases for your everyday decisions, from buying a car to accepting a date and choosing a perfume. I gained much knowledge from this book and consider it a must read for anybody interested in a scientifically rigorous review of human behavior in the field of consumption. You will not be disappointed!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pragmatic and Insightful June 12 2009
By David A. Capino - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this book after I had taken some MBA courses on Consumer Behavior, and was delighted to find that it was both interesting, well written, and practical. His treatment of the material is even in tone and he shows a technique that makes previously intractable problems somewhat approachable. His breakdown of the Evolutionary Modules into 4 specific modules allows you to take a Framework based approach to problem solving. His topic choices are quite interesting and his introduction to Evolutionary Psychology, given in the beginning, is enough for you to grasp the core concepts. It's also a good refresher if you are familiar with EP. I've used this approach to tackle business problems (which appear to have a Darwin etiology) and it has allowed me attack Organizational Behavior problems in a more scientific way. The modules he describes allow you to at least attempt to form some testable hypothesis. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has not been exposed to Evolutionary informed psychology as well as anyone interested in adding new tools to their tool kit concerning marketing and sales. If you are neither of the above, I would recommend reading it because you may find it just plain interesting.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars creating a new scientific field Sept. 27 2008
By Sigal Tifferet - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In his book "The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption" Gad Saad has founded a new field in the social sciences: evolutionary consumer behavior. While Saad is an expert in marketing, I was surprised to find out that his understanding of evolutionary psychology is both wide and deep.The book is very well written and each chapter focuses on a different topic, in a way that makes the reading interesting and fluent. The literature reviews are comprehensive, making it a great book to start with when exploring a new question. This book is highly recommended for both scholars and marketing managers.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Analysis of Consumption Nov. 28 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a brilliant book. It is a path-breaking analysis of consumption from an evolutionary psychological perspective. Professor Saad shows that the widespread belief that advertisers can sell us anything if the ad campaign is clever enough is just plain wrong. Successful advertising - and ultimately consumption - is, to a large degree, based on tapping into basic preferences that evolved over millennia. Saad adroitly integrates basic research in evolutionary psychology and evolutionary biology with consumer behavior, and he provides many interesting and amusing examples. This book should be on the shelf of anyone who studies consumption or who is involved in marketing.
6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars High expectations Dec 11 2007
By BRUNO JORGE SOARES - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm a marketing research professor. I used to looking for sources to explain consumer behaviour. Ive read Pinker's book Tabula Rasa and I had had high expectagions about the book of Gaad Saad. Unfortunatelly, the major part of the lines are about criticism and atacks over other explanative aproaches to consumer behaviour. It's ok, but I couldn't see enough examples that show clear relations between consumer behaviour and evolutionary psychology.
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