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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why we are not singing about self-actualization, 3 Mar 2012
This review is from: Consuming Instinct (Hardcover)
Gad Saad's "The Consuming Instinct" is good news for a growing population of modern, unbiased marketers around the world, but bad news for all conservatives lurking in business schools and universities, dominating the same world.
Yes, it is controversial to the majority guarding the high fences between biology and psychology, and believing in God and Maslow. Saad is one of the few breaking new ground for marketing by applying evolutionary psychology to every aspect of human life and activities.
You may have suspected much of this. There is an abundance of jokes and stories about the quest for status, and what is typical male or female out there. But here Gad Saad can refer to scientific evidence stating that we were right. He tells us that we were not born as blank sheets, but equipped with a rich assortment of instincts - like all other animals. References and cases are abundant. The style is fluent, easy to grasp.
That he is telling us that we are animals is refreshing, but controversial, of course. Distant godfathers are Darwin and Freud. If you wonder why it took so long, Maslow may be the explanation. He was embraced by the marketing pioneers in the middle of the 20th century, being satisfyingly harmless, stating that our highest aspiration in life is self-actualization. Which all marketers have believed since then.
Richard Dawkins has told us that the meaning of life is to transport genes from our parents to our offspring. Gad Saad proves it referring to music: "[...] roughly 90 percent of songs have mating as their central theme [...]". "If Abraham Maslow were correct that the apex of human needs is self-actualization, we should find more songs about reaching one's potential as a human being and fewer about sex!"
From my own experience I recognize the problems he encounters with many audiences when introducing his findings. The marketing establishment is apparently scared stiff of any radical ideas. Because of this, I do recommend this book to everyone who is interested in how we live and why we do things the way we do. I sincerely hope this book will find its way into the curriculums of many business schools and universities around the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An illuminating and entertaining perspective on consumption and marketing, 24 Oct 2011
This review is from: Consuming Instinct (Hardcover)
In this book, Gad Saad approaches human consumption preferences in the most sensible way possible: he sees them as products of evolved psychological adaptation. Because he takes this evolutionary, "bottom-up" approach--concerned with the ultimate foundations of consumption--Professor Saad is able to achieve a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of consumption, and of effective marketing techniques, than most other works on these topics. Moreover, Prof. Saad is deeply and widely knowledgeable about research in evolutionary psychology, and so the book is filled with numerous examples of relevant studies, including many that were conducted by Prof Saad himself. Plus the book is written in an engaging and entertaining style that makes it a pleasure to read. Highly recommended to anyone interested in consumption, marketing, or psychology in general.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent evo psych exploration of human consumption, 6 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Consuming Instinct (Hardcover)
Really enjoyed this book by Gad Saad on human consumption. The book is easy to read, informative, rich with evidence based research, including many of his own experimental research studies that provide a deeper and richer understanding of human behaviour and cognition and the underlying evolutionary motivations that guide our decision-making, evaluations and behaviour in various domains. Gad Saad also peppers the text with autobiographical accounts of his own extraordinary life course and his families escape from some dangerous political realities. Loved reading this and found it fascinating and lots of 'food for further thought'. If you love understanding human behaviour within the context of the modern contemporary world this book will fascinate you and simultaneously serves as a great introduction to the growing field of evolutionary psychology.
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