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Applied Evolutionary Psychology$
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S. Craig Roberts

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199586073

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586073.001.0001

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Why we buy: evolution, marketing, and consumer behaviour

Why we buy: evolution, marketing, and consumer behaviour

(p.310) (p.311) Chapter 19 Why we buy: evolution, marketing, and consumer behaviour
Applied Evolutionary Psychology

Vladas Griskevicius

Joshua M Ackerman

Joseph P Redden

Oxford University Press

Although one might think that evolution has little to do with modern consumer behaviour, a closer inspection of our ancestral roots can provide much insight into why we buy. An evolutionary perspective suggests that we interact with our present-day world using brains that evolved to solve a recurring set of ancestral challenges. Accordingly, a growing body of research suggests that a set of evolutionary social motives continues to influence much modern behaviour, albeit not always in obvious or conscious ways. These motives include making friends, gaining status, attracting a mate, keeping a mate, protecting ourselves from danger, and caring for offspring. By considering how and why deep-seated ancestral motives continue to shape modern behaviour, we examine their implications for modern marketing and consumer behaviour. We detail how evolutionary considerations of motivation have novel applications for many areas of marketing, including market segmentation, consumers targeting, brand positioning, and advertising.

Keywords:   consumer behaviour, conspicuous consumption, evolutionary marketing

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