Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

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

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

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

Article excerpt

Gad Saad. The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature. New York: Prometheus, 2011.

Perhaps the most famous adage in philosophy is "I think therefore I am." However, a more telling maxim that describes our daily existence might be "I consume therefore I am." Most individuals will typically make scores of consumption-related decisions in any given day and most of us possess strong "consummatory" desires.

Gad Saad, a professor of marketing at Concordia University and the founder of the field of evolutionary consumption, argues most acts of consumption can be mapped into four main Darwinian drives--namely, survival (we prefer food high in calories); reproduction (we use products as sexual signals); kin selection (we naturally exchange gifts with family members); and reciprocal altruism (we enjoy giving gifts to close friends). He contends analogous behaviors exist between human consumers and a wide range of animals and that consumers around the world are deeply influenced by innate evolutionary forces in similar ways. …

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