On Consumerism, Sex, Advertising, and Human Nature

Peacock (Pavo cristatus), displaying his tail,...

“The Ferrari is exactly the same in the human context,” says evolutionary psychologistGad Saad, “as the peacock‘s tail is on the peacock.”

Saad is an evolutionary behavioral scientist at Concordia University and author of the book The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal about Human Nature, in which he argues that most consumer behavior can be explained by evolutionary psychology.  Watch his interview,

Reason.tv‘s Zach Weissmueller sat down with Saad to discuss why most Ferrari owners are men, whether or not advertising executives manipulate our minds, the strong political opposition to the evolutionary sciences from across the spectrum, and the evolutionary significance of Sir Mix-a-lot‘s “Baby Got Back.”

About 10 minutes. Interview by Zach Weissmueller. Shot by Sharif Matar; edited by Weissmueller.

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2 thoughts on “On Consumerism, Sex, Advertising, and Human Nature

  1. A Ferrari is like a peacocks tail?! What Rubbish!

    Of course a college student is going to get a rise when he is driving a Porsche – because he doesn’t own one! Try that same experiment on guys that own Porsches. Where were the controls in this experiment? (i.e. owner/non-owner) How about a Porsche owner driving a Ferrari? How about putty a sexy girl in a the standard sedan and an unattractive women in the Porsche? Same results? Different results?

    … like a said. Pfff!!!!

    1. Indeed, this could have some strings attached and lots of variables. It is indeed a fact that humans are also attracted by “colors, signals of power, virility, etc.” as animals do. Have you read anything on the studies of evolutionary sexual mating? There you could find less casual info with experiment results that are peer reviewed.

      I am pretty sure that the results of the mixes you mention would be different. Specially if you put someone to choose between a guy with the ferrari and a guy with a porsche. 😉 Thanks for your visit,

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