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The human mind is a collection of functionally specialized, content-specific mechanisms that were designed by natural selection to solve the adaptive problems faced by our evolutionary ancestors. Thus, evolutionary analyses can provide insight into the perceptual, cognitive and motivational mechanisms underlying human behavior including consumer behavior. In order to encourage consumer researchers to make greater use of an evolutionary perspective, this paper discusses the basic concepts of evolutionary psychology and briefly describes three illustrative evolutionary theories along with their implications for consumer behavior and marketing.


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© Association for Consumer Research. Final version published as: Lynn, M., Kampschroeder, K., & Pereira, A. (1999). Evolutionary perspectives on consumer behavior: An introduction. Advances in Consumer Research, 26, 226-230. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.