<body> Public Ad Campaign: Spent: Sex, Evolution, And Consumer Behavior
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spent: Sex, Evolution, And Consumer Behavior

I just finished reading Geoffrey Miller's newest book, Spent. It was quite fantastic and I suggest it to anyone trying to navigate the stormy waters of an overburdened consumer society.

Right off the bat Miller says that marketing is the most powerful force on earth to date, directing everything from our social interactions, to our use/abuse of the environment. Marketing, in today's society pushes conspicuous consumption, which is often wasteful, selfish, and socially isolating. This conspicuous consumption and interest in consumer products has evolved along with our physical evolution through an evolutionary psychology that attempts to display what he calls the big six traits. These traits show our general fitness as mates, both physically, but psychologically as well. They include things such as conscientiousness, agreeableness, intelligence, creativity, etc. He goes on to argue that many of the conspicuos purchases we make are often very poor indicators of the big six. Marketing, in order to drive conspicuous consumption, alters a product's real value by attributing it with other qualities outside of the products real value. The book goes on to suggest more affective and socially responsible ways to display our big six and regain a sense of community lost through selfish conspicuous consumption.

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Blogger NeenE said...

hi there - i can't seem to find "Spent" in the library - (nypl.org) - will you let me know publisher or any other information? maybe it is too new for nypl? Thank you!

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Blogger Owais Khan said...

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Blogger Owais Khan said...

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