Professor of Marketing
The Benefits of Recognizing the Darwinian Roots of Homo consumericus
September 29th, 2014
The infusion of evolutionary theory within the field of consumer behavior yields several important theoretical, epistemological, and methodological benefits. These include greater consilience, more complete explanations, heuristic value in generating novel hypotheses, methodological pluralism, greater interdisciplinarity, an ethos of conceptual replications, and a lesser reliance on Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) samples. Despite all of these important benefits, many social scientists in general and marketing scholars in particular continue to resist the notion that evolutionary psychology is relevant in understanding human behavior. This is largely due to several recurring cognitive and affective obstacles, a subset of which will be covered in my talk.
Gad Saad is Professor of Marketing at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada), and the holder of the Concordia University Research Chair in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences and Darwinian Consumption. He has held Visiting Associate Professorships at Cornell University, Dartmouth College, and the University of California–Irvine. Dr. Saad received the Faculty of Commerce’s Distinguished Teaching Award in June 2000, and was listed as one of the ‘hot’ professors of Concordia University in both the 2001 and 2002 Maclean’s reports on Canadian universities. For more than 17 years now, his work has operated at the nexus of evolutionary psychology and consumer behavior. He is the author of The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature (Prometheus Books, 2011), and The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2007), and editor of Evolutionary Psychology in the Business Sciences (Springer, 2011), as well as a editor of a special issue on the futures of evolutionary psychology published in Futures (Elsevier, 2011). He has published 75+ scientific papers, many at the intersection of evolutionary psychology and a broad range of disciplines including consumer behavior, marketing, advertising, psychology, medicine, and economics. Professor Saad’s work has been covered in 500+ international media outlets leading him to be designated a Concordia University Newsmaker on four separate occasions. Dr. Saad is a highly popular blogger for Psychology Today. Since November 2008, his posts have amassed 2,920,000+ total views. He received a B.Sc. in mathematics and computer science (1988) and an M.B.A. (1990) both from McGill University, and his M.S. (1993) and Ph.D. (1994) from Cornell University.
Reading will be posted to the EvoS blackboard group. Anyone with a Binghamton University email address can request to be added to the blackboard group by emailing EvoS[at]binghamton[dot]edu.
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