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. […]