Sunday, January 27, 2008

Homo consumericus: evolution & consumption

I've had the pleasure to attend, recently, a conference at the John Molson School of Business where Dr. Gad Saad presented his latest research and findings in connection with the consumer behaviour, the so called "Homo consumericus" theory.

Dr. Saad's objective, unique in its approach, is the attempt to explain our consumption behaviour using the Darwinian evolutionary theory.  His postulate, transcending all cultures, ethnicities and racial diversities, attempts to identify a set of universal variables influencing the our consumption pattern and behaviour. According to Dr. Saad, as humans, our consumption behaviour has been shaped, on the one part, by our social and cultural influences and background, and, on the other part, by our biological and genetic framework resulting from thousands of years of evolution.  

Interestingly, further to some empirical research conducted by Dr. Saad, it has been demonstrated, very creatively I might add, that, to a certain extent, men and women's consumption behaviour, irrespective of social influences and cultural background, is strongly correlated with a man and woman's biological instincts universal across the human specie.   

Dr. Saad has recently published a very interesting book discussing at large and length his theory of humans' consumption pattern as shaped by our genetic and biological makeup titled "The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption", which I shall purchase very shortly and strongly recommend that you read as well.  Some of the interesting topics discussed therein are (1) the Darwinian gastronomy, (2) salt consumption (consumption behaviour depending on the weather), (3) situational hunger and food shopping (our purchasing behaviour when we are hungry) and (4) gift-giving to kin (protection and passing of our genes).  

For more information on the foregoing, please visit Dr. Saad's website at:

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