Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior

A leading evolutionary psychologist probes the hidden instincts behind our working, shopping, and spending Evolutionary psychology the compelling science of human nature has clarified the prehistoric origins of human behavior and influenced many fields ranging from economics to personal relationships In Spent Geoffrey Miller applies this revolutionary science s principlesA leading evolutionary psychologist probes the hidden instincts behind our working, shopping, and spending Evolutionary psychology the compelling science of human nature has clarified the prehistoric origins of human behavior and influenced many fields ranging from economics to personal relationships In Spent Geoffrey Miller applies this revolutionary science s principles to a new domain the sensual wonderland of marketing and status seeking that we call American consumer culture Starting with the basic notion that the goods and services we buy unconsciously advertise our biological potential as mates and friends, Miller examines the hidden factors that dictate our choices in everything from lipstick to cars, from the magazines we read to the music we listen to With humor and insight, Miller analyzes an array of product choices and deciphers what our decisions say about ourselves, giving us access to a new way of understanding and improving our behaviors Like Freakonomics or The Tipping Point, Spent is a bold and revelatory book that illuminates the unseen logic behind the chaos of consumerism and suggests new ways we can become happier consumers and responsible citizens.
Spent Sex Evolution and Consumer Behavior A leading evolutionary psychologist probes the hidden instincts behind our working shopping and spending Evolutionary psychology the compelling science of human nature has clarified the prehistoric

  • Title: Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior
  • Author: Geoffrey Miller
  • ISBN: 9780670020621
  • Page: 185
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior”

    1. Miller pulls together an acutely relevant array of information from a range of fields (e.g. psychology, primate evolution, economics, marketing), distilling concepts to their essence in elegant prose in support of his arguments. My favourite section: a description of correlations between risk of exposure to parasites from outgroups, vulnerability of the immune system, and tendency to be more or less open to contact with unfamiliar people and cultures.Some points that pop out in his writing: He r [...]

    2. Haven't finished this yet, but I love it. One of those books that when you're reading it, "explains everything." In this case, status seeking consumerism. Take two: OK, I should have waited before reviewing. It's definitely an entertaining book that will hold your interest, but it gets more than a bit nutty as it progresses. I strongly agree with the central thesis: there are more effective was to signal our fitness (intelligence, agreeableness, conscientiousness, etc.) than by consuming mass pr [...]

    3. When you give a man a screwdriver, he thinks that all the world's problems can be fixed by screwing around. That's essentially what's happened to Geoffrey Miller. Don't get me wrong. This is an excellent book, for the first half. It covers fitness indicators and how we're using consumerism as a modern way to express them. It covers psychology's current obsession with personality traits and how they fit neatly with our consumer behaviour. So far so good - I mean how rarely does scientific models [...]

    4. There are a few aspects of the book which I found annoying: it is verbose, the author talks about himself far too often, he is not always fair to those who hold opinions different from his (although his mean jokes are funny most times). But in the end these downsides are not so important. Miller made his point and quite convincingly, too. As a result, I feel that I now know more about marketing and why it works. For example, all those glamorous Gucci/DG/Versace ads with contemptuous models lying [...]

    5. An incredibly thought provoking book. Written by an evolutionary psychologist, it is also highly controversial. Whether left-wing, write-wing, God-denying or God-fearing, you will find some parts, if not the whole thing, offensive (perhaps even heretical. both liberals and conservatives). Yet, I highly recommend it as its evolutionary perspective on consumerism is probably vastly different than anything you have ever read or heard. The basic idea is that runaway consumerism is simply a recent ex [...]

    6. *Time well-spent *_Spent_ offers a valuable opportunity to escape from consumerism craziness and get back in touch with our evolutionary roots. Geoffrey Miller does an amazing job in showing how consumer capitalism preys on our evolutionary drives for displaying fitness indicators and chasing fitness cues, but it ultimately results in our flaunting traits that are often redundant, misleading, useless, or counterproductive. Under the spell of runaway consumerism, we get distracted from the truth [...]

    7. White cover with clever photo, single word title, copycat publishing. A frustrating combination of screed (deriding conspicuous consumption), analysis (we advertise our biological selves by buying what we buy), and business journalism (summarizing current marketing trends). Some chapters are well reasoned and organized, and at least one (Chapter 9) is quite entertaining. Geoffrey Miller writes well when he's on, and clearly knows the field of evolutionary biology. Overall, however, one gets the [...]

    8. Love this book - he has a bunch of great ideas and ties them all together well - a bit dry in parts, but stick with it and it's worth it at the end when he finishes with his thoughts on a consumption tax. LOVE IT!

    9. fascinating take on behavioral psychology, marketing, evolution, sexuality/procreation, how and why we buy things, and how theory of sexual selection factors into our thinking. (also see previous book "The Mating Mind" for much of the theory behind this lab work)

    10. Family, Friends, and SexIf South Park had an evolutionary psychologist as a character it would be Geoffrey Miller, professor at the University of New Mexico, and author of Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior. Miller uses his irreverent writing style to explain global consumer culture through the application of the science of human nature. This is a particularly good book for marketers as it uses up-to-date science to explain why we, as humans, buy, and why we are often trapped by the al [...]

    11. Eu nunca (nunca!) largo a leitura de um livro pela metade, mas essa foi a primeira vez que isso aconteceu. Escrita enfadonha e demasiadamente confusa para a mensagem simples que comunica, além de extremamente repetitiva em certos trechos. Foi um sofrimento chegar até a página 250.

    12. A good start for evolutionary consumerism. I had heard of ‘peacocking’ but Miller goes much deeper on this idea and others. He also provides four chapters of detailed analysis of how certain traits are displayed. This book felt 20% too long, a thinned out version would be nice but good ideas are throughout. This was suggested by Tyler Cowen and Rory Sutherland.

    13. A favorite among the books I've read in the last 2-3 years. Highly highly recommended. My quoted passages from reading the book: * On life now and then: * "Consider the average Cro-Magnon a 30000 years ago. She's a healthy 30 year old Mother 3, living in a close-knit clan of family and friends. She works only 20 hours a week at an organic fruits and vegetables and flirting with guys who will give her free-range meat. She spends most of her gag gossiping with friends, breastfeeding her name is b [...]

    14. This book hooked me from its name alone: not only is the pun on its subtitle of Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior exactly my sense of humor, those subjects are right up my alley. Miller's thesis is that much of modern conspicuous consumption is a waste, and not just in the environmental sense. In his view, much of what we buy as signaling and trait display devices are also a waste in evolutionary terms, because human beings are already extremely good at figuring out who they want to have sex [...]

    15. So apparently in the broad scheme of things most of what we're doing works towards getting laid.Or at least provides the deep-seeded reason for it. I doubt most presidents, on their high-level thinking, do so in pursuit of getting a whole lot of ladies.Geoffrey Miller's book makes plenty of interesting arguments from the evolutionary psychologist standpoint about how the human drive to display our traits gets filtered far too readily through conspicuous consumption. He makes plenty of interestin [...]

    16. I originally picked this up because I was going through a kick of reading books about different aspects sexuality - this book, however, is more about evolutionary psychology and consumerism (and to a lesser extent, marketing), than it is about sexuality.Despite this, I kept reading it, because the author does have some interesting ideas, even if they're presented in a style I found myself needing to take in fairly small doses at a single reading session.Basically, the field of Evolutionary Psych [...]

    17. Weird book with great new ideas in it.Pro:The concept of "Central Six" is crucial to learn for any individual. Especially people who work closely with human beings and need to understand talent and behaviour. Intelligence and the Big Five personality traits is the alpha-omega in psychology and the basis for all scientific psychology. Miller does explain how these things are the things you have to look at to understand consumer behaviour, and he is correct. Personality and intelligence can predic [...]

    18. I liked the insights from Evolutionary Psychology that Miller uses to show us our consumer behavior and why that behavior exists. He is a bit too anti-consumerist though and sometimes his message gets lost because of it. Though I do have to agree that we don't really need most of the the things we buy. I like my flat-screen TV, but did I really NEED it. No, my old 27" tube television was fine, worked great. I just like my 36" flat panel, or do I? The premise of the book is that most of our consu [...]

    19. Great personality test: Measuring your big five (openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, emotional stability, and extraversion)Use the following scale to answer each question below:1 = disagree strongly2 = disagree a little3 = neither agree nor disagree4 = agree a little5 = agree stronglyOpenness (subtract the score for the second statement from the score for the first statement):I see myself as someone who has an active imagination.I see myself as someone who has few artistic interests.Cons [...]

    20. How evolutionary psychology applies to marketingEvolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller examines modern consumer culture through a scientific lens. The result is thought-provoking, useful and often witty, but a bit uneven. Miller does of fine job of explaining evolutionary psychology and, especially, of showing how the endless purchases that define “consumerist capitalism” come from an unacknowledged need to demonstrate physical characteristics or personality traits to others. This section [...]

    21. A fun look at modern consumer culture through the eyes of an evolutionary psychologist, Spent explores how hardwired status seeking and the Big 5 personality traits – openness, conscientiousness,agreeableness, stability & extroversion – as well as general intelligence influence consumer behavior. From the social psychology of consumer narcissism to conspicuous consumption as fitness signaling, Geoffrey Miller analyzes how the goods and services we buy unconsciously advertise our biologi [...]

    22. Fantastic read from evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller looking into our consumer behavior of what we spend, how we display it, and why. The author explains the central six traits that predict human behavior and expands on how each one affects our buying and displaying of material goods. He suggests and cites research promoting a consumption tax as opposed to an income tax; and also proposes we return to displaying our intelligence, kindness, creativity and beauty through genuine human int [...]

    23. This is the most mindblowing book I've read in the last 10 years.Hands down.The Conspicuous Signalling Theory is The Law. Is the most concise, coherent and predictive theory on Evolutionary behaviour. Goes way beyond a superficial understanding of Marketing.If you read this book you will understand more about how people behaves and why they buy the things they buy and why some products are marketed in the way they are: the second half of the book is way less important and you can safely ignore i [...]

    24. The author blends personal observation, conjecture, and actual research into a rambling narrative about consumerism. Between taking pot shots at other research and offering little evidence of why his perspective is preferred it was hard to appreciate many of the points trying to be made. The last fews chapters offer a more expansive view of how society might change its behavior, compared to other books about consumerism that I've read, but I found the material out of place and instead wished for [...]

    25. I really enjoyed this book. I am very interested in consumer behavior and human behavior in general, and this book detailed how and why we do things the way we do. I thought it was fascinating and learned a lot from his real life examples. I am actually going to read through the book again and take a few notes about things that really got my attention. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in human behavior and/or perspectives on life, living and culture.

    26. A flamboyant tail increases a peacock's chances at reproductive success by signaling his genetic fitness, while decreasing his ability to avoid predators. This is an example of "costly signaling," and In Geoffrey Miller's view, conspicuous consumption is another -- and a poor one at that. Spent is part anti-consumerist evolutionary psychology manifesto and part a marketing advice book (Miller is a professional marketing consultant).

    27. If someone figures out how to rewrite this book in a dumbed-down fashion, it will be a best seller. Its premise is that we spend money in order to send signals to others about our intelligence and personality traits. But this is wasteful, because people can usually ascertain our intelligence and personality traits within a few minutes of talking to us. The author suggests alternatives, some of which are radical. I will be talking about this book for a long time.

    28. Miller presents a lot of interesting insights on our consumer minds (even if you already have strong understandings and opinions of the topic). The lengthy look at our personality traits is an unexpected but welcome addition. While some of his discussion is a bit ridiculous, he salvages himself at the end with good ideas on personal and policy choices that can really make things much better for everyone.

    29. FINALLY.I loathed the author more than I thought possible - unabashedly pretentious and arrogant - BUT, thought a lot of his ideas were interesting. I'm with him on reducing consumption, and the six personality traits he outlined keep coming up mentally as I interact with different people ("Oh, she's high openness" or "Asshole! Low agreeability!"). I'm miffed I didn't finish BEFORE book club; I would've had a lot more to say.

    30. ده فصل اول نثر و تحلیل سفت و محکمی داره. از ریشه مصرف گرایی و نگاه به این مسئله از زاویه تکامل تا اهداف ما برای خرید. ۶ شکل اصلی شخصیتی رو به شکل طولانی توضیح داده که بیشتر باید در کتاب های تخصصی روانشناسی طرح میشد. پیشنهادات برای تغییر نظام مالیاتی همان سوسیال دموکراسی معمول بو [...]

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