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Evolutionary Economics: Synergistic Insights Into Motivation, Satisfaction, and Consumer Behavior

Friday, May 22, 2009, 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM
Nob Hill A - B

Chair: Kristina M. Durante
University of Texas at Austin

Evolutionary social psychological models predict that human motivations and behaviors are driven by competition for limited resources (mates, wealth, and status). This symposium highlights recent developments in the integration of economics and evolutionary social psychology and introduces novel research lines that provide insights into the richness of human behavioral strategies.

It’s a Wonderful Life – For Some: An Examination of Goals and Satisfaction by Domains
Norman P. Li
University of Texas at Austin and Singapore Management University
Why is a satisfying life obtainable for some but elusive to others? Is it from overvaluing particular life areas or simply falling short of reasonable goals? To examine this question, we used budgets of “life dollars” to measure people’s goals and whether they were reaching them in various social domains.

Christie N. Scollon, Singapore Management University
William Tov, Singapore Management University

Going Green to be Seen: Status, Reputation, and Conspicuous Conservation
Vladas Griskevicius
University of Minnesota
Do people buy Hybrids to impress their neighbors? We find that green products are linked to status. Supporting costly signaling theory, activating status motives led people to choose green products to display their caring about the environment. Findings suggest that status competition can promote positive outcomes such as green consumption.

Joshua Tybur, University of New Mexico
Bram Van den Bergh, University of Leuven, Belgium

Risk, Rivalry, and the Pursuit of Attractiveness: Evidence for Contextually Dependent Risk Suppression in Women
Sarah E. Hill
Texas Christian University
Risky behaviors exhibited by women in the name of rendering themselves more attractive than their mating rivals may reflect functional suppression of the risks associated with these behaviors. We provide evidence demonstrating that exposure to attractive same-sex others suppress women's estimates of risks associated with potentially dangerous attractiveness enhancement behaviors.

Kristina M. Durante, University of Texas at Austin

Fashion, Rivals, and Love: The Effects of Intrasexual Competition and Fertility on Women’s Consumer Behavior
Kristina M. Durante
University of Texas at Austin
Under what contexts do women alter their consumer behavior? We tracked women’s spending patterns on various fashion items. At high-fertility, women purchased sexier, more revealing items and this shift was most pronounced after viewing photographs of attractive women. Results suggest that shifts in spending are a reflection of female-female competition.

Sarah E. Hill, Texas Christian University
Carin Perilloux, University of Texas at Austin
Norman P. Li, Singapore Management University and University of Texas at Austin

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