Mind = Blown

Sometime in college, there will be a lecture that will blow your little mind. My buyer behavior course is doing just that for me. In a nutshell, buyer behavior is the study of “why people buy the things that they buy.” Yep, there is a scientific study of why you want to spend $400 more on an Apple than on a PC.

My professor’s first explanation for why we buy the things we buy is EVOLUTION. Yes, he is talking  about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Mind = blown!

Let me explain further:

If I were to ask you which national food chains were the most profitable, you would probably answer all of the restaurants on what is lovingly called “Burger Alley” in Cedar City.

And you would be right, but do you know why? Evolutionary psychology offers an answer (which may or may not be correct, it is only a theory not a scientific law).

The basic assumption of evolution is natural selection, or the process by which “fit” species and traits endure and “unfit” ones are eliminated. For greater detail look here. One of the principles of evolution is survival. To survive, what do humans need? Food, water, and shelter (very simplified list). This idea of survival is a major driving force behind all human activity.

You don’t have to go back very far in time to find a place where food sources were rather scarce and inconsistent for most of the human population. So, their body would tell them to devour calorie-rich foods when they had to the chance because it increased their chances of survival. A calorie-rich food is indicated by the taste of sugar or fat (you with me? Ok, good).

Because this fact was in such recent history, humans have yet to adapt to this change in modern life. Calorie-rich food is not scarce or inconsistent anymore. Honestly, I can see Taco Time and Dairy Queen from outside of my kitchen window. Yet, because we have not evolved we still crave the same calorie-rich food our ancestors did. Thus, McDonald’s dense, dense food selection makes it one of the most profitable food chains in the world.

You can believe your want for a Whopper or Big Mac is driven by evolution, if you want. I won’t make you. I am certainly skeptical. It just kind of made my head spin when he introduced the idea.

I have been craving a Chicken Bacon Artichoke pizza from Papa Murphy’s all weekend long, so I guess you could call me a Darwinist or a fatty. You choose…

Peace and blessings. Peace and blessings.


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