The Consuming Instinct

What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature

by Gad Saad,

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781616144296
  • 9781616144302
In this highly informative and entertaining book, 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, the author shows that innate evolutionary forces deeply influence the foods we eat, the gifts we offer, the cosmetics and clothing styles we choose to make ourselves more attractive to potential mates, and even the cultural products that stimulate our imaginations (such as art, music, and religion).

The book 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—this is a fascinating read.


From the Hardcover edition.
  • Prometheus Books; June 2011
  • ISBN 9781616144302
  • Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
  • Title: The Consuming Instinct
  • Author: Gad Saad; David M. Buss (other)
  • Imprint: Prometheus Books
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781616144296
  • 9781616144302

In The Press

"Saad gets behind the obvious and provides surprising Darwinian evidence for our choices."
–Psychology Today

"…will appeal to readers interested in the biological basis of human behavior, the age-old debate of nature versus nurture, and especially what makes consumers tick…. clearly essential for marketing professionals, advertisers, and psychologists…"
–Library Journal

"Covering everything from pornography to Wall Street, this thought-provoking title induces readers to take a deep look at how they live."
–Booklist

About The Author

Gad Saad, Ph.D. (Montreal, Canada), a popular blogger for Psychology Today ("Homo-Consumericus"), is a professor of marketing at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. He holds the Concordia University Research Chair in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences and Darwinian Consumption and is the author of The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption, plus numerous scientific papers.


From the Hardcover edition.