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The Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption$
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Stephanie D. Preston, Morten L. Kringelbach, and Brian Knutson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027670

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027670.001.0001

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Introduction: Toward an Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption

Introduction: Toward an Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption

(p.xiii) Introduction: Toward an Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption
The Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption

D. Preston Stephanie

Morten L. Kringelbach

Knutson Brian

The MIT Press

Consumption is the endpoint of any resource-allocation decision in which individuals acquire something for their own use. This can occur in conserved and ancient forms (e.g., ingesting food, drinks, or drugs of abuse) but also in modern and symbolic forms (e.g., shopping and purchasing products, scanning and appreciating images, and paying for and burning fuel). Humans make hundreds of consumption decisions each day, with important personal consequences for their health and finances as well as collective consequences for others’ welfare and the sanctity of the environment. Growing evidence suggests that decisions to consume across multiple domains rely on overlapping circuits in the mesolimbocortical system, which evolved to motivate animals towards adaptive and pleasing ends including food, mates, and secure shelter. Correlated psychological processes may also contribute to decisions to consume, often encouraging individuals to approach highly salient and immediate rewards, even at a long-term cost to themselves or others. In addition, decisions to consume food and other material goods appear responsive to contextual feelings of security or uncertainty as well as perceived social status. Although from disparate fields, all of the authors in the current volume conduct research on some aspect of consumption, ranging from food hoarding in animals to the neural and psychological bases of pleasure, addiction, shopping, saving, and hoarding in humans. This work emanates from multiple scientific approaches, including evolutionary theory, animal behavior, neuroscience, experimental psychology, and clinical psychopathology. Through this integrative collection, we hope to illuminate a critical and timely convergence

Keywords:   Consumption, Appetite, Decision Making, Reward, Acquisitiveness, Materialism, Addiction, Discounting

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