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The Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption

Stephanie D. Preston, Morten L. Kringelbach, and Brian Knutson


Our drive to consume—our desire for food, clothing, smart phones, and megahomes—evolved from our ancestors’ drive to survive. But the psychological and neural processes that originally evolved to guide mammals toward resources that are necessary but scarce may mislead us in modern conditions of material abundance. Such phenomena as obesity, financial bubbles, hoarding, and shopping sprees suggest a mismatch between our instinct to consume and our current environment. This volume brings together research from psychology, neuroscience, economics, marketing, animal behavior, and evolution to expl ... More

Keywords: Consumer behavior, Psychology, Neuroscience, Economics, Marketing, Evolution

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780262027670
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262027670.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Stephanie D. Preston, editor
University of Michigan

Morten L. Kringelbach, editor

Brian Knutson, editor

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Front Matter

Introduction: Toward an Interdisciplinary Science of Consumption

Stephanie D. Preston, Morten L. Kringelbach, and Brian Knutson

Evolutionary Perspectives

1 Reciprocity in Primates

Sarah F. Brosnan, Frans B. M. de Waal, and Darby Proctor

2 The Fundamental Motives for Why We Buy

Vladas Griskevicius, Joseph P. Redden, and Joshua M. Ackerman

Food, Foraging, and Saving

5 Simple Heuristics for Deciding What to Eat

Peter M. Todd and Sara L. Minard

7 The Psychology Of Acquisitiveness

Stephanie D. Preston and Brian D. Vickers

Neurobiological Perspectives

10 Incentive Salience in Addiction and Over-Consumption

Michael J. F. Robinson, Terry E. Robinson, and Kent C. Berridge

12 How Expectancies Shape Consumption Experiences

Hilke Plassmann and Tor D. Wager

Consumption Across the Life Span

14 Consumer Behavior Across the Life Span: A Life History Theory Perspective

Chiraag Mittal, Vladas Griskevicius, and Bruce J. Ellis

15 Older Adults as Consumers: An Examination of Differences by Birth Cohort

Noah J. Webster, Toni C. Antonucci, Carolyn Yoon, Wayne R. McCullough, Debra N. Fin, and Debra L. Hartsell

End Matter