Geoffrey Miller's Spent: How Evolutionary Psychology Explains Consumerism

Published: 2023-10-15
Geoffrey Miller's Spent: How Evolutionary Psychology Explains Consumerism
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Consumerism World
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 867 words
8 min read

Geoffrey Miller is an evolutionary psychology professor at the University of New Mexico. He wrote Spent to follow up on The Mating Mind, a bestseller written about evolutionary psychology. In Spent, Miller writes about the psychology of a consumer instead of the psychology of sexual relationships. In the book, he focuses on the reasons people buy the things they buy. The central theme aligns with the one in the bestseller. He illustrates that the human mind is hardwired through evolutionary measures that lead us to find different things and specific people to be more attractive than others, such as the color blue, fat, sugar, salt, height, waist to hip ratios of 0.7, symmetry in the face. According to Geoffrey Miller, consumer preferences are similar to those that hunters and gatherers had in the past. He explores evolutionary psychology bringing out the consumer in an insightful manner.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Miller's primary focus is based on the second evolutionary process developed by Darwin. This is the evolution by sexual selection. The tail of a peacock does not come with any advantage to overcome natural selection for the owner. However, the tail was chosen because of sexual selection. This trait represented good genes, and it was selected just as humans prefer people with better facial symmetry. According to Miller, a consumer’s psychology is well built into the peacock tail psychology, where people buy the things they buy to demonstrate that they have the best genes to potential partners, or to the people that may sell them to the best mates. The attraction and exploration occur instinctively and unconsciously, illustrating a unique peacock tail approach through conspicuous consumption.

The new idea that Miller attempts to bring on board is that the way people consume products is not because of the three S's that cover evolution: survival illustrated by health, status illustrated by power, and sex demonstrated by reproductive fitness. It goes finer than that. Mainly it is about bringing up our personalities, which are made up of six universal personality traits shared by everyone. These are the same as the number of chromosomes, bones, and muscles and the average number of years. According to research, everyone shares the same six personality dimensions that develop the characters everyone has.

Comprehensively, consumers' behavior can be understood as a strategy that communicates the personalities we have to others. The personality DNA is set up by the letter pattern iOCEAN. A personality trait with the most power is the 'i,' and it symbolizes general intelligence often illustrated by a high IQ result. These, such as the other five traits are different among people in different communities. Generally, improved intelligence in purchasing behavior indicates better genes. The attractiveness signaled by the other personality traits like neuroticism, agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness depends on the situation and the context. The main point is that the signal being given out should be different from the once other people give out.

The practicality of the books is for marketers, and it allows them to make sense of the six personality strands for the positioning and segmentation of brands. Through this marketing approach, the strategy will be in line with the joints of nature, instead of using outdated models of marketing with little or no evidence. This approach is an evidence-based understanding of the consumers with the basis of personality profiling and signaling theory. Powerful brands should be developed to represent better signaling tools to communicate with people about particular profiles and traits. A brand that attracts everybody lacks signaling utility and fails to thrive. Be it by luck or by a plan, brands have been taken in as signaling tools that illustrate different personality traits.

In summary, Miller argues in Spent that different profiling personalities consistent with segmentation, planning, and branding tools present an opportunity for marketers to improve the things they do. It fulfills the desires human beings have through the production of services and goods that people will buy. This book should be recommended to marketers and product developers. This is because it would be of great help in highlighting people's personalities, and it brings a different insight into marketing and product development to ensure that they garner a niche that represents particular personalities. This will improve purchases, especially if the product is marketed among people with the traits the products represent.

The overall rating of the book is nine. This book receives a nine because of the proper description and illustration set up by a psychologist who reviews the unconscious decisions made in the consumer culture. It brings out the concealed reasons why people make purchases. Moreover, the book explores and uses evolutionary psychology in exploring the world of perceived status and marketing in the consumer culture. The book is also appropriately written in sequence, beginning from the theory that people purchase things to advertise themselves to others. Further, on, it moves to the factors that guide what people spend their money on. There is a lot of insight and humor that Miller has used to analyze different product choices bringing out what the decisions made say about people, which provides access to an improved understanding and behavioral improvement to ensure that people become happy consumers.

Cite this page

Geoffrey Miller's Spent: How Evolutionary Psychology Explains Consumerism. (2023, Oct 15). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism