Friday, December 25, 2009

The evolutionary roots of shopping?

Today's spurious hunter-gatherer reference, found in a Christian Science Monitor article about men being disproportionately represented among last-minute shoppers:

A University of Michigan study (.pdf) released earlier this month suggests evolution may be to blame.

Typically, women’s shopping habit are informed by skills once used as gatherers, theorizes Daniel Kruger, research faculty at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. Men, he says, shop like hunters.

“The sexually divergent adaptations for gathering and hunting may be evident in reports of shopping experiences, as shopping could be considered a form of foraging in the modern consumer environment...,” the study says. “Men, in turn, will report shopping strategies and experiences that resemble hunting skills.”

That explains why women often spend more time shopping – looking for just the right item – while men are more hurried, Mr. Kruger says.

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