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Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior
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Published:
Penguin Publishing Group 2009
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Description
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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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
5/14/2009
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101050842
ASIN:
B0023SDQFI
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Geoffrey Miller. (2009). Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Geoffrey Miller. 2009. Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Geoffrey Miller, Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior. Penguin Publishing Group, 2009.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Geoffrey Miller. Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior. Penguin Publishing Group, 2009. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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fullDescription
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.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 16, 2009
        Evolutionary psychologist Miller (The Mating Mind
        ) examines conspicuous consumption in order to further his (not entirely complementary) goals—to rectify marketing's poor understanding of human spending behavior and critique consumerist culture. According to the author, our purchases are powerful indicators of our personality and are used to lure in suitable mates and friends. The book defends the current psychological view of personality as varying along six axes: intelligence, openness to new experiences, conscientiousness, agreeableness, emotional stability and extroversion. While there is significant support for the author's contention that variation in these basic categories reflect genetic inheritance, preferences for each of them vary from society to society, from historical moment to moment and even within individual lives (e.g., conscientiousness tends to increase over the course of our lives as mating strategies shift from attracting short-term partners to maintaining long-term relationships). Miller is an engaging writer, even if his attempts at humor fall flat. What remains troubling is his failure to account for how a full range of traits can coexist in the same cultural environment and continue to be perpetuated across generations.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        April 1, 2009
        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 consumer cultureof which marketing is, he argues, a dominant force. Since evolutionary psychology seeks to examine how natural selection acts on psychological and mental traits, Miller applies this knowledge to help us understand what actually motivates us to buy. He pokes fun at popular culture and at the things we buy and flaunt to inflate our self-esteem and try to make ourselves more attractive. Personality research can inform the study of consumer behavior, and Miller shows us how having a better understanding of our own personalities will help us avoid the pitfalls of runaway consumerism. After all, millions of years of evolution have honed humans' natural abilities to win friends and mates, so why resort to expensive and ridiculous substitutes for our true identities and personalities? For both lay readers and academics, reading this book should be considered time well "spent."Carol J. Elsen, Univ. of Wisconsin, Whitewater

        Copyright 2009 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2009
        Miller, an academic and evolutionary psychologist who studies the science of human nature, explores the American consumer culture of marketing and status seeking. We have a natural desire to look good in the eyes of others, and modern consumers persuade one another that they are healthy, clever, and popular by the goods and services they consume. Such goods and services acquired through education, work, and consumption advertise our personal traits to others, and since these factors are misleading, the author contends that others usually ignore them and judge us through personal interaction. This book concerns where we are today in this complicated world, which Miller calls consumerist capitalism, and where we go in the future. He states, Humans may never give up their drives for status, respect, prestige, sexual attractiveness, and social popularity, but these drives can be channeled to yield a much higher quality of life than runaway consumerism offers. It is unclear if this well-researched, challenging academic tome will attract readers outside the classroom.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2009, American Library Association.)

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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....
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