MATERIALISM: AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE pp. 185-196
Authors: Paul Rose, Dep. of Psychology, Southern Illinois Univ. Edwardsville and Kyle E. Conlon, Southern Illinois Univ. Edwardsville
Abstract: 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.