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Darwin’s ghost : evolutionary psychology and consumer behaviour analysis

Nicholson, Mike; Xiao, Sarah

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The consumer behaviour analysis research programme continues to develop as both anintellectual discipline and an applied area of empirical inquiry, enriching ourunderstanding of consumer responses to the products and services of everyday life, andto the marketing of those products and services. To date, however, the programme hasfunctioned largely at an ontogenetic level, developing proximate‐level accounts ofconsumer choice based upon operant learning at the expense of any meaningfulengagement with the more ultimate‐level accounts of such phenomena offered byadoption of a more phylogenetic perspective. In an attempt to address this potential gapin current knowledge, this paper introduces the central tenets of neo‐Darwinian theoryand their relevance for the consumer behaviour‐analytic programme. More specifically,the paper seeks to apply adaptionist logic to the Behavioural Perspective Model, theprinciple explanatory framework within consumer behaviour analysis, in order todemonstrate how the hypotheses generated by that framework may gain greaterconceptual clarity and empirical precision through accommodation of both ontogenyand phylogeny within its sphere of reference.


Nicholson, M., & Xiao, S. (2007). Darwin’s ghost : evolutionary psychology and consumer behaviour analysis

Publication Date Mar 20, 2007
Deposit Date Dec 7, 2012
Publicly Available Date Dec 7, 2012
Series Title Durham University Business School Management and Marketing Working Papers
Keywords Evolutionary psychology, Radical behaviourism, Consumer choice, Behavioural perspective model, Operant learning.
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