Applying evolutionary psychology in understanding the Darwinian roots of consumption phenomena


  • Gad Saad

    Corresponding author
    1. John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    • Marketing Department, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1M8
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Consumer scholars have amassed an impressive body of knowledge using a wide range of methodological approaches and paradigms. Despite the scientific rigor of the consumer behavior discipline, most scholars that have reviewed the field agree that it has yielded a fragmented and confused literature. It is argued here that this is in part due to the near paucity of evolutionary-based theorizing within the theoretical frameworks used by consumer scholars. While evolutionary psychology focuses on ultimate causation namely the adaptive origins of a particular cognition, emotion, preference, or behavior, the consumer behavior discipline has overwhelmingly addressed proximate mechanisms. Both levels of analyses are needed for a full understanding of consumption phenomena. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.