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NotificationsNotify me of updates to MATERIALISM: AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE pp. 185-196
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Authors:  Paul Rose, Dep. of Psychology, Southern Illinois Univ. Edwardsville and Kyle E. Conlon, Southern Illinois Univ. Edwardsville
Human nature seems to consist of predispositions that lead people to learn to value
wealth and luxury more efficiently than they learn to value many other things. The basic
human motives to attain security, social status and acceptance within groups, all of which
contributed to the reproductive success of our ancestors, appear to predispose people to
learn materialistic values in modern consumerist cultures. Moreover, the advantages of
material abundance for successful reproduction may have lead people to prefer mates
who display a commitment to wealth (especially when a long-term mate is sought, and
especially among females pursuing males). These sexual selection pressures may have
combined with the pressures of natural selection to contribute to the human inclination
toward valuing material abundance. An appreciation of the role of evolutionary processes
in predisposing humans toward efficiently learning materialistic values yields research
questions that have the potential to enrich our understanding of consumer behavior. 

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