Quantcast

Politics is Simple: Vote for the Tall Guy

Our decisions aren’t always as rational as we think, and choosing a presidential candidate is no exception. Researchers at Texas Tech have found an innate preference for candidates who are more physically imposing. This tendency is considered to be an example of evolutionary psychology, in which modern-day humans still exhibit behaviors developed in our hunter-gatherer days. (Or, simply put, “caveman politics.”) […]

By |October 18th, 2011|

Virtual Coolness

Evolutionary psychology suggests that we humans are all about conspicuous consumption. Displaying expensive or hard to find items raises our status and may suggest a higher degree of “fitness” as a mate (i.e., health and resources). This drive extends even to the virtual world, according to a study conducted by Spent author Geoffrey Miller. […]

By |July 20th, 2010|

Why Stories Sell

We know that anecdotes can be a convincing way to sell a product, particularly if the story is told by someone we trust. (See Your Brain on Stories.) Evolutionary psychology may offer a reason. Human brains evolved when we […]

By |June 24th, 2010|

Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior

Book Review: Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior by Geoffrey Miller

“Marketing is not just one of the most important ideas in business. It has become the dominant force in human culture.” This is how evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller leads into an early chapter on the importance of marketing. In spent, Miller sets out to explain why humans buy the things they do. His perspective is based on the concept that compared to the time it took humans to evolve, our consumer society is so new that our brains are applying the skills developed for hunter-gatherer communities and applying them today. When we buy a Toyota Prius or Coach purse, we are still engaging in behaviors honed over the millenia on the veldt and in the forests. […]

By |May 24th, 2010|