Article

Calories, beauty, and ovulation: The effects of the menstrual cycle on food and appearance-related consumption

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

The menstrual cycle has been largely ignored within the consumer research literature. Using a survey panel, women's food and appearance-related consumption was tracked for 35 consecutive days. As predicted, food-related desires, dollars spent, and eating behaviors were greater during the luteal (non-fertile) phase, whereas appearance-related desires, dollars spent, and beautification behaviors increased during the fertile phase. Dollars spent on products unrelated to food or beautification, were not significantly influenced by the menstrual cycle. Hence, women's consumption desires, preferences, and dollars spent in evolutionarily relevant product categories (food and mating) fluctuate across their ovulatory cycle. Branding-related implications are briefly discussed.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... The MC spans approximately 28 days and is based on a cyclical pattern. It can be divided into the menstrual phase (days 1 to 4 in a 28-day cycle), the follicular phase (usually days 5 to 14) and the luteal phase (days 15 to 28), due to the fluctuation of estrogen and luteinizing hormone (Mihm, Gangooly, & Muttukrishna, 2011;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). Women are only fertile when ovulation occurs (around days 8-15; Wilcox, Dunson, & Baird, 2000). ...
... For example, on high-fertility days, women prefer partners who are more masculine and attractive and have more facial symmetry, to obtain genetic benefits for their offspring (Faraji-Rad, Moeini-Jazani, & Warlop, 2013;Gangestad, Garver-Apgar, Simpson, & Cousins, 2007). They also tend to consume more appearance-related products and dress in sexier outfits to compete with attractive rivals in their fertile phase (Durante, Li, & Haselton, 2008;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). In addition, they show strong disease-avoidance and exhibit more prosocial behavior, to obtain potential pregnancy in the luteal phase (Fleischman & Fessler, 2011;Stenstrom, Saad, & Hingston, 2018). ...
... Study 1 sought to obtain an overview about how the MC phase impacts women's preferences for conspicuous consumption. The female participants' MC phases were assessed through the reverse-cycle day (RCD) method (Gangestad & Thornhill, 1998;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012), and they revealed how much money they would spend on certain items compared to their peers, which indicated prestige and a display of wealth (Sundie et al., 2011;Wang & Griskevicius, 2013). We hypothesized that women in the low-fertility phase would spend more money compared to those in the high-fertility phase. ...
... The MC spans approximately 28 days and is based on a cyclical pattern. It can be divided into the menstrual phase (days 1 to 4 in a 28-day cycle), the follicular phase (usually days 5 to 14) and the luteal phase (days 15 to 28), due to the fluctuation of estrogen and luteinizing hormone (Mihm, Gangooly, & Muttukrishna, 2011;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). Women are only fertile when ovulation occurs (around days 8-15; Wilcox, Dunson, & Baird, 2000). ...
... For example, on high-fertility days, women prefer partners who are more masculine and attractive and have more facial symmetry, to obtain genetic benefits for their offspring (Faraji-Rad, Moeini-Jazani, & Warlop, 2013;Gangestad, Garver-Apgar, Simpson, & Cousins, 2007). They also tend to consume more appearance-related products and dress in sexier outfits to compete with attractive rivals in their fertile phase (Durante, Li, & Haselton, 2008;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). In addition, they show strong disease-avoidance and exhibit more prosocial behavior, to obtain potential pregnancy in the luteal phase (Fleischman & Fessler, 2011;Stenstrom, Saad, & Hingston, 2018). ...
... Study 1 sought to obtain an overview about how the MC phase impacts women's preferences for conspicuous consumption. The female participants' MC phases were assessed through the reverse-cycle day (RCD) method (Gangestad & Thornhill, 1998;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012), and they revealed how much money they would spend on certain items compared to their peers, which indicated prestige and a display of wealth (Sundie et al., 2011;Wang & Griskevicius, 2013). We hypothesized that women in the low-fertility phase would spend more money compared to those in the high-fertility phase. ...
Article
Full-text available
Women experience both physical and psychological changes during different phases of the menstrual cycle (MC), which can affect their decision making. The present study aims to investigate the impact of the MC on women’s preferences for conspicuous consumption. In three studies, women in the low-fertility phase were found to be more inclined toward conspicuous consumption, with the MC effect on conspicuous consumption being mediated by the extent of pride. We assumed that women in the low-fertility phase would feel less proud due to an evolutionary drive and that they would consume conspicuous products as a means of compensation. Meanwhile, women who were only children did not manifest such behavior. We infer that women from one-child families may have a greater sense of security and confidence, which buffers the mediating effect. This research contributes to both evolutionary psychology and marketing research and provides new insights for future studies.
... Indeed, with their dominant role in household food and grocery decisions (Lake et al., 2006), female consumers' attitudes towards GM foods are essential to the GM market. The menstrual cycle, as a periodic phenomenon with relatively small fluctuations in most females, has extensive effects on various behaviors, including dress, food consumption, and even presidential elections (Beall & Tracy, 2013;Durante, Arsena, & Griskevicius, 2013;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). Evolutionary psychology findings suggest that women pay more attention to food resources and crave more sweet and fatty foods during the luteal phase than the early follicular or ovulation phase (McNeil, Cameron, Finlayson, Blundell, & Doucet, 2013;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). ...
... The menstrual cycle, as a periodic phenomenon with relatively small fluctuations in most females, has extensive effects on various behaviors, including dress, food consumption, and even presidential elections (Beall & Tracy, 2013;Durante, Arsena, & Griskevicius, 2013;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). Evolutionary psychology findings suggest that women pay more attention to food resources and crave more sweet and fatty foods during the luteal phase than the early follicular or ovulation phase (McNeil, Cameron, Finlayson, Blundell, & Doucet, 2013;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). Such findings may have discouraged scholars from exploring whether there are any specific foods that women tend to avoid during the luteal phase. ...
... While most research on the menstrual cycle focuses on the effects of the ovulatory phase on reproduction-related behaviors, some studies investigate the effect of the luteal phase on food foraging behaviors (Fessler, 2003;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). Fessler (2003) believed that ancestral women adapted to their environment by trading off between reproductive activities and activities of food foraging and other nonmating matters. ...
Article
Despite widespread adoption of genetically modified (GM) agriculture and the sale of GM foods, consumers are still apprehensive about it. This paper identifies menstrual cycle as a novel factor influencing consumer attitudes towards GM foods. We propose that female consumers lower their evaluations of GM foods in the luteal phase compared with the early follicular phase and ovulatory phase, as the salience of food risk concerns rises in the luteal phase. We conducted four studies and one single-paper meta-analysis to test this basic effect and the underlying mechanism of perceived risk of GM foods through a tracking survey, real food tasting, and scenario evaluation. The findings contribute to the literature of consumer attitudes to GM foods by identifying a unique influencing factor, and also reveal that during the luteal phase female consumers do not just seek more food but also avoid certain types of food.
... Sun reminders should also affect females' sexual motivation and their preference for products that help them achieve their mating goals (i.e. products that make them look healthy and young). However, women's mating motivation (Pillsworth & Haselton, 2006;Röder, Brewer, & Fink, 2009), responses to sexual stimuli (Slob, Bax, Hop, Rowland, & van der Werff ten Bosch, 1996), and preferences for mating-related products (Saad & Stenstrom, 2012) are all dependent on the phase of their ovulation cycle and are highest during the fertile phase of their cycle. Thus, studies on women's mating motivations have recruited female participants who are not using hormonal contraceptives and have controlled for phase of ovulation (e.g. ...
... Thus, studies on women's mating motivations have recruited female participants who are not using hormonal contraceptives and have controlled for phase of ovulation (e.g. Haselton & Gangestad, 2006;Röder et al., 2009;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). Given the differing methodological requirements for investigating the effects of sun reminders on each gender (i.e. to account for ovulation), our research focuses specifically on men and only uses female participants as a comparison group in two of our four studies. ...
... Future research should also consider how women react to sun reminders while controlling for ovulation cycle phase (Slob et al., 1996) and using product categories that improve their mating chances (e.g. sexy clothing; Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). We expect that women who are in the fertile phase of their cycle will show a higher preference for these products when they are reminded of the sun. ...
Article
Evolutionary psychology has established that humans have a fundamental motive for mating, and that men buy luxury products to attract mates. Absent from this body of work is an investigation of how nature-related variables influence mating motivations, and thus affect preferences for luxury products. Using an evolutionary lens, our research examines how reminders of the sun affect men's preferences for luxury products. The results of four experiments show that, when reminded of the sun, men become more sexually motivated, exhibit a more positive mood, and thus show higher preferences for luxury products.
... While evolutionary-based consumer research has so far been dominated by the managerial perspective, a new and promising direction has been set by Stenstorm et al. (2018) and Saad and Stenstorm (2012), who briefly suggest that their research findings -related to the effects of the ovulatory cycle on consumer behaviour and analysed through the evolutionary psychological lens -could have implications for consumer welfare and TCR. According to them, evolutionaryinformed findings are of relevance for consumer welfare, as being aware of biological instincts can be a route for improvements in both one's quality of life and in one's ability to make more informed buying decisions. ...
... Bahl et al. 2016;Thøgersen 2005;Zimmerman 1995). For example, if consumers learn that the ovulatory cycle exerts specific biological effects on their behaviour and that evolutionary psychology can make sense of these effects, as Stenstorm et al. (2018) and Saad and Stenstorm (2012) suggest, then these consumers may critically reflect on and alter their behaviour and they would consequently be empowered. Besides the implications suggested in Stenstorm et al.'s (2018) and Saad and Stenstorm's (2012) studies, evolutionary psychology has not, to the best of my knowledge, been used either in the domain of consumer empowerment or in TCR, although some studies have indeed applied evolutionary psychology to solve consumption-related social problems, inform social marketing and promote sustainable consumption (Brooks & Wilson 2015;Michaelidou & Moraes 2014;Tybur & Griskevicius 2013;Griskevicius et al. 2012). ...
... For example, if consumers learn that the ovulatory cycle exerts specific biological effects on their behaviour and that evolutionary psychology can make sense of these effects, as Stenstorm et al. (2018) and Saad and Stenstorm (2012) suggest, then these consumers may critically reflect on and alter their behaviour and they would consequently be empowered. Besides the implications suggested in Stenstorm et al.'s (2018) and Saad and Stenstorm's (2012) studies, evolutionary psychology has not, to the best of my knowledge, been used either in the domain of consumer empowerment or in TCR, although some studies have indeed applied evolutionary psychology to solve consumption-related social problems, inform social marketing and promote sustainable consumption (Brooks & Wilson 2015;Michaelidou & Moraes 2014;Tybur & Griskevicius 2013;Griskevicius et al. 2012). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Evolutionary psychology is becoming a popular approach in consumer research. Evolutionary-based consumer research has, however, typically been undertaken from the managerial rather than from the consumer perspective. The current thesis aims to fill this gap by conceptually integrating evolutionary psychology and transformative consumer research through positive psychology. The objective is to investigate the usefulness of evolutionary psychology, especially the consumer’s awareness of ultimate explanations, as a self-reflective tool for consumer self-regulation and empowerment. The thesis consists of an introductory essay and three empirical articles about insect-based food (Article 1), customer toilets (Article 2) and sex toys (Article 3). First, the thesis lays down the principles of evolutionary-based consumer research, including the ultimate level of explanation and fundamental motives. Answering the first research question (How can ultimate explanations deepen the understanding of consumers’ need fulfilment?), the thesis builds an analytical framework of ultimate explanations behind the approach and avoidance tendencies towards need fulfilment. Then, after introducing the philosophical positioning of the role of evolutionary psychology as an instrumental method theory, the thesis answers the second research question (What ultimate explanations are related to the approach and avoidance tendencies concerning [a] buying insect-based food, [b] using customer toilets and [c] buying sex toys?) by applying this analytical framework to reinterpret the three consumer-related phenomena presented in the empirical articles. Ultimate reinterpretations suggest that regarding insect-based food (Article 1), the approach tendency is to eat healthily and sustainably, fundamentally motivated by status seeking, and the avoidance tendency is disgust and neophobia, fundamentally motivated by disease avoidance. Regarding customer toilets (Article 2), the approach tendency is to relieve a physiological urgency in a socially appropriate way based on the fundamental motive of affiliation, and the avoidance tendencies are fear and disgust, stemming from the fundamental motives of self-protection and disease avoidance. Finally, regarding sex toys (Article 3), the approach tendency relates to enhancing sexual pleasure, fundamentally motivated by mate retention and acquisition, and the avoidance tendency is the fear of being sexually exposed based on the fundamental motives of self-protection and affiliation. Following this ultimate-level reinterpretation, the thesis answers the third research question (How can ultimate explanations operate as a basis for consumer empowerment?) by constructing and illustrating the conceptual idea labelled as evolutionarily-informed empowerment. According to this idea, the awareness of the ultimate explanations and fundamental motives behind reactive behaviour (such as the behaviour illustrated in the three empirical phenomena) is argued to be the starting point in a process where consumers can critically deliberate over this reactive behaviour. Supposedly, this deliberation will empower consumers to adopt the habit of making wiser and more rationally-informed consuming decisions not only in these three illustrative cases but also in other consumption-related situations. Although the current doctoral thesis mainly aims at increasing consumers’ own understanding of their behaviour, the idea of evolutionarily-informed empowerment may also offer valuable insights for marketing practitioners. Additionally, evolutionarily-informed empowerment is suggested to operate as a useful tool in consumer and marketing education. While this thesis corroborates the role of ultimate explanations in consumer empowerment, it also acknowledges that evolutionarily-informed empowerment is only one source of consumer empowerment, and even psychological empowerment may take place without the awareness of ultimate explanations. Additionally, the conditions where the idea of evolutionary-informed empowerment is applicable is subject to certain limitations. Specifically, the interfaces between constructs (ultimate explanations, self-awareness, self-regulation and consumer empowerment) may be interfered with by certain factors such as the acceptance and understanding of evolutionary psychology, ego depletion and a consumer’s own sense of virtuosity. As the functionality of the frame-work is only illustrated through reinterpretation, future research is needed in order to deductively test its validity. A key research direction where the framework could also be applied is, for example, consumer behaviour related to mental and sexual health. Despite the limitations and questions that potentially direct future research on the topic, the thesis already contributes to the consumer research literature by taking a consumer perspective on evolutionary-based consumer research. In particular, the current thesis is among the first studies to use evolutionary psychology in understanding transformative consumer research and consumer empowerment. Keywords: Evolutionary psychology; Transformative consumer research (TCR); Consumer perspective; Consumer empowerment; Positive psychology; Instrumentalism; Ultimate explanations, Self-awareness; Self-regulation; Fundamental motives
... Third, we agree with the reviewer that women, too, engage in positional consumption. However, from a practical standpoint, neither the stimuli nor the treatment in our study is identically applicable to women, because (a) the brands, products, and marketing messages that would manipulate status motives differ between women and men, and therefore testing our prediction in women would require changing the behavioral tasks to reflect these sex differences, (b) T-gel is not FDA-approved for women, and administering T to women would require dosage adjustment and extraordinary measures to obtain ethics approval, and (c) the most prominent bio-social theories of positional consumption in women are concerned with fertility phases during the menstrual cycle and the hormones controlling them, estrogen and progesterone (Lens et al. 2012;Durante et al. 2011;Saad and Stenstrom 2012;Durante et al. 2014;Eisenbruch, Simmons, and Roney 2015). While it is likely that T plays a role too, it is not the primary candidate endocrinological mechanism, and studying it in women would require additional features that complicate the experimental design further (because menstrual cycle phase induces an additional source of variation to the data, and must be carefully controlled for). ...
... 2) On line 255, the authors cite reference 50. This is fine but they should accordingly cite earlier papers that have examined the effects of the menstrual cycle in consumer settings (e.g., Durante et al., 2011;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). I noticed that the authors did mention the latter two papers in their reply to reviewer 2 (point 2.11) but yet they do not cite these in the final manuscript. ...
... 1.2 On line 255, the authors cite reference 50. This is fine but they should accordingly cite earlier papers that have examined the effects of the menstrual cycle in consumer settings (e.g., Durante et al., 2011;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). I noticed that the authors did mention the latter two papers in their reply to reviewer 2 (point 2.11) but yet they do not cite these in the final manuscript. ...
... Moreover, we show that perceived dependence on others mediates the effect of the menstrual cycle on prosociality. These findings contribute to the consumer behavior literature by showing that the menstrual cycle not only affects what women buy (Durante & Arsena, 2015;Faraji-Rad, Moeini-Jazani, & Warlop, 2013;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012), but also for whom they do so. ...
... Conception can theoretically occur during a 6-day fertile window of the follicular phase that typically spans between days 10 and 15 of a 28-day cycle (Wilcox, Dunson, Weinberg, Trussell, & Baird, 2001). During this fertile window, consumers seek high-status products (Durante, Griskevicius, Cantu, & Simpson, 2014), engage in greater beautification behaviors (Röder, Brewer, & Fink, 2009;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012), and prefer appearance-enhancing products (Durante, Li, & Haselton, 2008;Durante, Griskevicius, Hill, Perilloux, & Li, 2011;Haselton, Mortezaie, Pillsworth, Bleske-Rechek, & Frederick, 2007;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). ...
... Conception can theoretically occur during a 6-day fertile window of the follicular phase that typically spans between days 10 and 15 of a 28-day cycle (Wilcox, Dunson, Weinberg, Trussell, & Baird, 2001). During this fertile window, consumers seek high-status products (Durante, Griskevicius, Cantu, & Simpson, 2014), engage in greater beautification behaviors (Röder, Brewer, & Fink, 2009;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012), and prefer appearance-enhancing products (Durante, Li, & Haselton, 2008;Durante, Griskevicius, Hill, Perilloux, & Li, 2011;Haselton, Mortezaie, Pillsworth, Bleske-Rechek, & Frederick, 2007;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). ...
... Both can signal sexual interest and attract potential mates. After a first study reported that women try to look more attractive at peak fertility (Haselton et al., 2007), more studies followed reporting that women do or aim to wear more sexy, skin revealing clothes (Durante et al., 2008;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012;Schwarz & Hassebrauck, 2008), or prefer to buy sexier clothes (Durante et al., 2011). The latter has also been linked to fluctuating hormone levels (Blake et al., 2017a). ...
... The latter has also been linked to fluctuating hormone levels (Blake et al., 2017a). Further, diary studies suggest that women spend more time grooming when fertile (Röder et al., 2009;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). The prominent finding that fertile women wear more red or pink clothes (Beall & Tracy, 2013;Eisenbruch et al., 2015;Tracy & Beall, 2014), a color that is potentially worn to enhance attractiveness (Prokop & Hromada, 2013, but see Peperkoorn et al., 2016), failed to replicate in multiple recent studies (Arslan et al., in press;Blake et al., 2017b;Hone & McCullough, 2020). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Oxford Handbook of Human Mating covers the contributions and up-to-date theories and empirical evidence from scientists regarding human mating strategies. The scientific studies of human mating have only recently risen, revealing fresh discoveries about mate attraction, mate choice, marital satisfaction, and other topics. Darwin’s sexual selection theory primarily guides most of the research in the scientific study of mating strategies. Indeed, research on the complexities of human mate competition and mate choice has centred around Darwin’s classic book. This book discusses theories of human mating; mate selection and mate attraction; mate competition; sexual conflict in mating; human pair bonding; the endocrinology of mating; and mating in the modern world.
... One theory -the ovulatory competition hypothesis (Durante et al., 2014;Nikiforidis et al., 2017) -posits that competitiveness may be elevated in women who are approaching ovulation, compared to women in other times in the cycle. Evidence for this theory derives from research revealing a mid-cycle increase in intrasexual competition, including the use of beauty products and desire to wear sexy clothes (Batres et al., 2018;Durante et al., 2008;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). Adding additional support for an association between hormones and competitiveness comes from research suggesting that women using HCs display a reduced level of competitive motivation compared to NC women (e.g., Bradshaw et al., 2020;Buser, 2012;Casto et al., 2020Casto et al., , 2021a, suggesting that exogenous hormones in HCs may suppress underlying (likely non-conscious) competitive motivations. ...
... As briefly outlined above, the ovulatory competition hypothesis (Durante et al., 2014;Nikiforidis et al., 2017) posits that ovulation is associated with an increase in intrasexual competitiveness, with a focus on mate-seeking. Support for this theory comes from studies demonstrating that fertile (compared to non-fertile) women self-report increased intrasexual competitiveness, assertiveness, and use of mate attraction strategies, including heightened use of make-up, other grooming behaviours, and desire to wear sexy clothing (Batres et al., 2018;Blake et al., 2017;Durante et al., 2008;Piccoli et al., 2013;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). However, several well-powered non-replications (e.g., Arslan et al., 2018;Hahn et al, 2016;Schleifenbaum et al., 2021) have since failed to find a robust association between fertility and increased intrasexual competition for mates, casting doubt on the reliability of this association. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objective A growing body of research has begun investigating the relationship between hormones and female competitiveness. Many researchers have focused on the effect of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptives. Despite many attempts at understanding hormone-behavior associations, contradictory findings have made it difficult to determine the existence of true effects. The aim of the current research was to use a robust methodological design to investigate the effect of fertility probability on four competitive orientations in naturally cycling women and hormonal contraceptive users. Methods Using a longitudinal diary study with over 3,900 observations from 21 countries, we explore the effect of fertility probability on four self-report competitive orientations after controlling for menstruation: self-developmental competition, hyper competitiveness, competition avoidance, and lack of interest toward competition. Results Using Bayesian estimation for ordinal mixed models, we found that fertility probability was associated with an increase in self-development competitiveness amongst naturally cycling women but not hormonal contraceptive users. We also found weak evidence that hormonal contraceptive users show reduced interest in competing compared to naturally cycling women. There were no other robust effects of fertility or hormonal contraceptive use. Conclusions These results suggest that fertility probability is associated with increased fluctuations in self-development competitive motivation and that hormonal contraceptives interfere with this effect. This research contributes to the growing body of literature suggesting that hormonal contraceptives may influence psychology and behavior by disrupting evolved hormonal mechanisms.
... En esta línea se ha encontrado que las mujeres tienen un comportamiento de consumo muy diferenciado a lo largo de las fases del ciclo menstrual. En la fase ovulatoria las mujeres tienen una mayor preferencia por la ropa reveladora y atractiva y los accesorios de moda (Durante et al., 2008;; están más motivadas por mejorar su atractivo físico (Durante & Saad, 2010); reducen la ingesta de calorías (Saad & Stenstrom, 2012); prefieren las ganancias relativas en lugar de las ganancias absolutas (Durante et al., 2014); y tienen una mayor preferencia por la variedad en el consumo (Durante & Arsena, 2015). Mientras que, en las otras fases del ciclo como la lútea, ocurre lo contrario. ...
... Este tipo de comportamientos de consumo a lo largo de las fases del ciclo menstrual, en especial en la fase ovulatoria, se ha asociado con la competencia intrasexual orientada al estatus y al éxito en la búsqueda y selección de pareja (Durante & Arsena, 2015;Durante & Saad, 2010;Durante et al., 2011;Durante et al., 2014;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012;). Así mismo, Durante y Griskevicius (2016) en estudios recientes refieren que las hormonas pueden estar participando en el logro de objetivos para el acceso a los recursos, a los compañeros y al estatus social. ...
Book
Full-text available
La investigación que presenta el siguiente libro tuvo como objetivo analizar las diferencias entre las decisiones económicas bajo riesgo y en contexto social durante las fases ovulatoria y lútea del ciclo menstrual. El enfoque utilizado fue el empírico analítico, con alcance comparativo, diseño no experimental y de tipo transversal. El muestreo fue probabilístico, con una muestra de 100 mujeres de la Universidad de Antioquia entre los 18 y 24 años, con ciclos menstruales regulares y sin uso de métodos anticonceptivos hormonales. Los instrumentos utilizados fueron: encuesta sociodemográfica, cuestionario sobre el ciclo menstrual, Juego de loterías de Holt y Laury y el Juego del ultimátum. Entre los resultados se encontró que las mujeres presentaban aversión al riesgo sin importancia de la fase del ciclo menstrual, y en las decisiones económicas sociales, no hubo diferencias significativas entre los grupos. La investigación permitió concluir que no hubo diferencias en la toma de decisiones entre los grupos de la fase ovulatoria y la fase lútea. La discusión de los resultados se desarrolla a la luz de la teoría evolutiva y la teoría económica.
... Sex hormones affect food intake and whole-body energy expenditure through their influence on hypothalamic neurohormones, and also affect a woman's mood. 1,3 Estrogen, which is intensely secreted during the follicular phase, exerts various metabolic effects, increases protein synthesis in the liver, influences glucose and insulin concentrations (through a change in pancreatic beta-cell function) and reduces appetite. Estrogen also has a positive impact on a woman's psychological state during ovulation, resulting in increased interest in sex/reproduction and a reduced desire to eat. ...
... Estrogen also has a positive impact on a woman's psychological state during ovulation, resulting in increased interest in sex/reproduction and a reduced desire to eat. 1,[3][4][5] Increased progesterone secretion is observed during the luteal phase. The biological activity of progesterone is pleiotropic; it influences the reproductive organs, raises basal body temperature and accelerates the basal metabolic rate. ...
... More specifically, women generally feel greater sexual desire around the time of ovulation, and thus they may be motivated to dress more attractively and appealingly. Similarly, Saad and Stenstrom [18] conducted a similar study on women's appearance-related consumption across their ovulatory cycle. Relying on a survey panel, women's food and appearance-related consumption was tracked for 35 consecutive days. ...
... This study offers several contributions to theory. First, it adds to related streams of research which suggest that hormonal fluctuations influence consumers' attitudes and purchase intentions (see, e.g., [5] [18]). As predicted by the Ovulatory Shift Hypothesis [9], the results here show that women at peak fertility develop more favorable attitudes and stronger purchase intentions towards sexy and revealing fashion products, as compared to women at low fertility. ...
... Shifts in time preference towards immediate rewards during the most fertile window could help acquire essential supplies to improve attractiveness, reproductive success, and outperform potential rivals. Research on economic choice behaviours support this view: During peak fertility, women tend to spend more money on clothing (Saad & Stenstrom, 2012), pick products that boost appearance (Durante et al., 2011;Haselton et al., 2007), withdraw more money from attractive rather than less attractive females in a competitive setting (Lucas & Koff, 2013), and seek to obtain sources that elevate their social status . ...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual desire, physical activity, economic choices and other behaviours fluctuate over the menstrual cycle. However, we have an incomplete understanding of how preferences for smaller sooner or larger later rewards (known as delay discounting) change over the menstrual cycle. In this pre-registered, cross-sectional study, Bayesian linear and quadratic binomial regression analyses provide compelling evidence that delay discounting does change over the menstrual cycle. Data from 203 naturally cycling women show increased discounting (preference for more immediate rewards) mid-cycle, which is at least partially driven by changes in fertility. This study provides evidence for a robust and broad-spectrum increase in delay discounting (Cohen’s h ranging from 0.1 to 0.4) around the fertile point in the menstrual cycle across multiple commodities (money, food, and sex). We also show, for the first time, that discounting changes over the menstrual cycle in a pseudo-control group of 99 women on hormonal contraception. Interestingly, such women increase their discounting of sex toward the end of the menstrual phase — possibly reflecting a prioritisation of bonding-related sexual activity before menstrual onset.
... Moreover, appetitive motivation has been found to modulate neural activity when viewing high-and low-calorie foods (Malik et al., 2011). Similarly, for women, both food-related desires and eating behaviors have been described to be stronger during the luteal period, suggesting relationships between neural responses to foods and phases of the menstrual cycle (Leidy et al., 2011;Saad and Stenstrom, 2012). ...
Article
In the context of current-day online shopping, people select foods based on pictures and using their visual systems. Although there are some reviews of previous neuroimaging studies on appetitive behaviors, the findings on neural activation in response to pictures of high- and low-calorie foods seem inconsistent. This study aims to systematically review, integrate, and meta-analyze neuroimaging evidence of viewing high- and low-calorie foods. There were 25 samples from 24 studies, totalizing 489 normal-weight participants (311 female, 160 male, and 18 of unknown sex). We conducted a systematic review and Activation Likelihood Estimation (ALE) meta-analysis on viewing high-calorie foods (versus non-foods), low-calorie foods (versus non-foods), and high- versus low-calorie foods. In systematic review, several brain regions were shown to be activated when viewing high- or low-calorie foods (versus non-foods) and viewing high- versus low-calorie foods, including the prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala, insula, ventral striatum, hippocampus, superior parietal lobe, and fusiform gyrus. However, the ALE meta-analysis showed that the left orbitofrontal cortex, left amygdala, insula, superior parietal lobe, and fusiform gyrus were activated when viewing high-calorie foods (versus non-foods); the left fusiform gyrus was activated when viewing low-calorie foods (versus non-foods); and no cluster was activated when viewing high- versus low-calorie foods. Our research suggests an appetitive brain network that includes visual perception and attentional processing, sensory input integration, subjective reward value encoding, decision-making, and top-down cognitive control. Future studies should control for the effects of methodological and physiological variables when examining the neural correlates of viewing high- and low-calorie foods.
... Dixson (2021) advanced a similar criticism regarding purported cycle-dependent shifts in women's mate preferences, which "…may be less robust than the foundational research reported." Although evidence supporting cycle-dependent shifts in facial attractiveness and mate preferences are equivocal, shifts in appearance enhancement behavior across the menstrual cycle appear to be somewhat consistent (Durante et al., 2008;Eisenburch et al., 2015;Guéguen, 2012;Haselton et al., 2007;Kim & Hiromi, 1995;Röder et al., 2009;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012;Schwarz & Hassebrauck, 2008). Several of these studies have salient methodological limitations (see Jones et al., 2019), but so do studies reporting null results or small effects (e.g., the use of backward counting methods to pinpoint cycle phase position; Arslan et al., 2018;Schleifenbaum et al., 2021). ...
... Using a similar design, but also asking women to draw illustrations of their outfits when invited to attend an imaginary social event, Durante et al. (2008) showed that 88 women wore and wanted to wear sexier clothing on high-fertility days. Other diary studies also report that women spend more time grooming when they are fertile (Röder et al., 2009;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
How attractive we find ourselves decides who we target as potential partners and influences our reproductive fitness. Self-perceptions on women’s fertile days could be particularly important. However, results on how self-perceived attractiveness changes across women’s ovulatory cycles are inconsistent and research has seldomly assessed multiple attractiveness-related constructs simultaneously. Here, we give an overview of ovulatory cycle shifts in self-perceived attractiveness, sexual desirability, grooming, self-esteem and positive mood. We addressed previous methodological shortcomings by conducting a large, preregistered online diary study of 872 women (580 naturally cycling) across 70 consecutive days, applying several robustness analyses, and comparing naturally cycling women to women using hormonal contraceptives. As expected, we found robust evidence for ovulatory increases in self-perceived attractiveness and sexual desirability in naturally cycling women. Unexpectedly, we found moderately robust evidence for smaller ovulatory increases in self-esteem and positive mood. Although grooming showed an ovulatory increase descriptively, the effect was small, failed to reach our strict significance level of .01 and was not robust to model variations. We discuss how these results could follow an ovulatory increase in sexual motivation while calling for more theoretical and causally informative research to uncover the nature of ovulatory cycle shifts in the future.
... Consumer neuroscience tools applied in consumer surveys have helped gain new insight into different aspects of brand perception [11][12][13][14][15], product packaging [16,17], emotional response to advertisements [18,19], and new product development [8]. Last but not least, it has enabled to survey the impact of different aromas on affective and cognitive processes [20,21]. ...
Article
Full-text available
In the current era of a strongly competitive business environment, it is more difficult for companies to attract customers. Consumer neuroscience has growing potential here, as it reveals internal consumer preferences by using innovative methods and tools, which can effectively examine consumer behavior and attract new customers. In particular, smell has a great ability to subconsciously influence customers and, thus, support profitability. This paper examines the importance of consumer neuroscience and its modern technologies used for exploring human perceptions to influence customers and benefit from the aromatization of business spaces. We focused our analysis on various service sectors. Despite the potential of the examined issue, there are a limited number of studies in the field of service providers that use neuroscience tools to examine the effect of aromas on human emotions. Most studies took place in laboratory conditions, and the used methodological procedures varied widely. Our analysis showed that, in spite of the positive impact of aromatization in the majority of aromatized spaces, service companies still do not use the potential of consumer neuroscience and aroma marketing to a sufficient degree. Innovative methods and tools, in particular, are still very underused.
... This novel approach is entitled "evolutionary consumer psychology" by some marketing scholars and it is defined as not an alternative, but complementary to the fundamentals of consumer psychology realm (Saad, 2013). Although they are relatively scarce, important studies have been made in the light of this novel approach in the field of marketing (see Griskevicius et al., 2009;Monga and Gürhan-Canli, 2012;Saad and Stenstrom, 2012;Saad, 2013;Durante et al., 2011Durante et al., , 2014. ...
... Using neuromarketing, marketers can determine the best strategies (such as celebrity endorsement or linking with social cause) to promote their products, avoiding wasted marketing resources. In the literature, researchers have focused on different marketing parameters such as brand perception [6], [7], brand evaluation decision [8], [9], [10], brand relationships [11], [12], brand preferences [13], [14], [15], pricing [16], product packaging [17], [18], brand naming [19], green consumption [20], store illumination [21], advertisement [22], [23], and new product development [24], etc. ...
Article
Neuromarketing is the application of neuroscience to the understanding of consumer preferences towards products and services. As such, it studies the neural activity associated with preference and purchase intent. Neuromarketing is considered an emerging area of research, driven in part by the approximately 400 billion dollars spent annually on advertisement and promotion. Given the size of this market, even a slight improvement in performance can have an immense impact. Traditional approaches to marketing consider a posteriori user feedback in the form of questionnaires, product ratings, or review comments, but these approaches do not fully capture or explain the real-time decision making process of consumers. Various physiological measurement techniques have been proposed to facilitate the recording of this crucial aspect of the decision making process, including brain imaging techniques (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Electroencephalography (EEG), Steady State Topography (SST)) and various biometric sensors. The use of EEG in neuromarketing is especially promising. EEG detects the sequential changes of brain activity, without appreciable time delay, needed to assess both the unconscious reaction and sensory reaction of the customer. Several types of EEG devices are now available in the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Researchers have conducted experiments using many of these devices, across different age groups and different categories of products. Because of the deep insights that can be gained, the field of neuromarketing research is carefully monitored by consumer and research protection groups to ensure that subjects are properly protected. This paper surveys a range of considerations for EEG-based neuromarketing strategies including, the types of information that can be gathered, how marketing stimuli are presented to consumers, how such strategies may affect the consumer in terms of appeal and memory, machine learning techniques applied in the field, and the variety of challenges faced, including ethics, in this emerging field.
... As discussed above, we analyse variation within people, as opposed to between people; further, we analyse cyclic variation specifically, but there are many other sources of within-person variation. As such, our results should not be taken to imply that attempts to target people based on their menstrual cycle phase-for example, for advertising-are likely to be effective 42,43 (separate, of course, from the substantial privacy concerns these practices raise). Our main finding is that the menstrual cycle is a primary contributor to within-individual cyclic variation. ...
Article
Full-text available
Dimensions of human mood, behaviour and vital signs cycle over multiple timescales. However, it remains unclear which dimensions are most cyclical, and how daily, weekly, seasonal and menstrual cycles compare in magnitude. The menstrual cycle remains particularly understudied because, not being synchronized across the population, it will be averaged out unless menstrual cycles can be aligned before analysis. Here, we analyse 241 million observations from 3.3 million women across 109 countries, tracking 15 dimensions of mood, behaviour and vital signs using a women’s health mobile app. Out of the daily, weekly, seasonal and menstrual cycles, the menstrual cycle had the greatest magnitude for most of the measured dimensions of mood, behaviour and vital signs. Mood, vital signs and sexual behaviour vary most substantially over the course of the menstrual cycle, while sleep and exercise behaviour remain more constant. Menstrual cycle effects are directionally consistent across countries. Human behaviour and physiology show cycles of variation. Here, using 241 million observations from 3.3 million women across 109 countries, the authors show that, out of the daily, weekly, seasonal and menstrual cycles, the menstrual cycle had the greatest magnitude for most dimensions of mood, behaviour and vital signs.
... Why do people use sex-specific products as sexual signals (Saad & Vongas, 2009)? Why are women more likely to beautify themselves when in the maximally fertile phase of their menstrual cycle (Durante et al., 2011;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012)? Why do the matrilineal sides of the bride and groom offer larger monetary wedding gifts than their patrilineal counterparts (Tifferet et al., 2018)? ...
Article
Full-text available
As is true of any scientific discipline, consumer psychology faces some challenges, many of which can be ameliorated via the use of evolutionary psychology. This includes broadening the scope of the research questions tackled as well as their interestingness; increasing the epistemological and theoretical scope of the discipline; reducing the likelihood of succumbing to the WEIRD sampling bias; decreasing methodological fixation; increasing interdisciplinarity; and augmenting the ethos of replications as well as the field's consilience via the building of consilient nomological networks of cumulative evidence. Modern‐day consumers exhibit preferences and behaviors that are vestiges of evolutionary forces that occurred long ago in deep evolutionary time. Marketing academics and practitioners alike, seeking to unlock the mysteries of what makes consumers tick, can only be enriched in recognizing that Homo consumericus is a product of the same evolutionary processes that have shaped all life forms. To deny this reality ensures that marketing knowledge will remain largely decoupled from biology, and in doing so engender at best an incomplete understanding of consumer behavior.
... In fact, behavioral studies investigating women's food desires and purchases of beautification products have supported this trade-off. In looking at food desires and money spent on clothing, women's food desires, hunger, and eating behavior were all significantly higher during the post-ovulatory period, while appearance related desires and clothing purchases increased during the fertile period (Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has suggested that women’s food intake is influenced by increases in progesterone, most notably during the post-ovulatory period. Additionally, body mass index and high-density foods play a contributing role in the amount of attention given to food. Although research has primarily focused on women’s self-reported ratings across the menstrual cycle, whether women’s attention to food is influenced by progesterone levels, menstrual status, and BMI has been unexplored. The current study investigated women’s visual attention to high and low-caloric food items. Across two lab visits, women’s progesterone levels were tracked while they completed an eye-tracking task. The results demonstrated that high-caloric foods were viewed longer irrespective of BMI, and there was tentative support for women’s progesterone influencing their first fixation durations to high-caloric foods. Overall, the findings suggest that high caloric foods were visually salient, which may be indicative of how humans allocate attention to food high in energy density, and it suggests that women’s early attentional processes are partly influenced by sex hormones (i.e., progesterone).
... These women engage in more flirtatious behavior (Cantú et al., 2014) and display a stronger interest in pursuing sexual opportunities (Röder et al., 2009) in comparison with women in a low fertile phase of the menstrual cycle (e.g., luteal). During the periovulatory phase, women have also been found to spend more time putting makeup on and are more likely to go sun tanning (Guéguen, 2012c;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). Women who are currently taking hormonal contraceptives, and hence cannot ovulate, have also been shown to spend less time applying cosmetics in comparison with those who are not on hormonal birth control . ...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have highlighted numerous sociocultural factors that have been shown to underpin human appearance enhancement practices, including the influence of peers, family, the media, and sexual objectification. Fewer scholars have approached appearance enhancement from an evolutionary perspective or considered how sociocultural factors interact with evolved psychology to produce appearance enhancement behavior. Following others, we argue that evidence from the field of evolutionary psychology can complement existing sociocultural models by yielding unique insight into the historical and cross-cultural ubiquity of competition over aspects of physical appearance to embody what is desired by potential mates. An evolutionary lens can help to make sense of reliable sex and individual differences that impact appearance enhancement, as well as the context-dependent nature of putative adaptations that function to increase physical attractiveness. In the current review, appearance enhancement is described as a self-promotion strategy used to enhance reproductive success by rendering oneself more attractive than rivals to mates, thereby increasing one’s mate value. The varied ways in which humans enhance their appearance are described, as well as the divergent tactics used by women and men to augment their appearance, which correspond to the preferences of opposite-sex mates in a heterosexual context. Evolutionarily relevant individual differences and contextual factors that vary predictably with appearance enhancement behavior are also discussed. The complementarity of sociocultural and evolutionary perspectives is emphasized and recommended avenues for future interdisciplinary research are provided for scholars interested in studying appearance enhancement behavior.
... Specifically, they test whether women's evaluations of natural and genetically modified foods may change across ovulatory cycle, with women evaluating genetically modified, but not natural foods more negatively during the luteal phase. The results by Chen et al. (2020) reveal that women in this phase respond more favorably towards natural foods, consistent with previous research (e.g., Saad & Stenstrom, 2012), but that they evaluate genetically modified foods less favorably due to the increased perceived risk associated with such foods. ...
Article
This special issue includes state-of-the-art papers that leverage various theories from evolutionary psychology (EP) to shed light on important consumption-related phenomena. Our guest editorial provides an overview of this EP-based consumer research, highlighting the key content, common denominators, and significant strengths of the articles. The papers cover a wide variety of topics, characteristic of evolutionary-informed research, that we structure around the following three themes: (1) Mating, marketing, and meaningful motivating forces, (2) Conspicuous consumption and salient signs of "showing off," and (3) Human hormones and biologically-based business research. We close our guest editorial by highlighting the crucial challenges of capturing real behavior, favoring field work, and promoting wisely conducted replication studies, which we deem to be fundamental in order to move this research area further forward.
... Measuring for example testosterone (the male sexual hormone), luteinizing hormone (related to female ovulation, Bullivant et al., 2014), or cortisol (the stress hormone) can help understand tourist experiences and behaviour (Lähteenmäki-Uutela, Räikkönen & Piha, 2016). In marketing, Saad and Stenstrom (2012) have studied the impact of the menstrual cycle on consumption. Similar approaches could be applied to female tourists. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Cultural heritage has become a valuable resource: It unites physical assets, such as buildings, and the living culture, that make it possible to isolate the themes and narratives essential to what is termed place-making (Richards, 2011). This research note presents a research proposal addressing the following research question: How could a social network analysis (SNA) boost an evolutionary ecosystem in cultural heritage tourism? A longitudinal case study identifies the current formal and informal ties of a group of stakeholders. That information in turn makes it possible to assess their cohesiveness and predict the future success of an ecosystem. The current study is warranted because research using a combination of an SNA and interactive network theories is scarce, and its practical implications are significant.
... Testosterone has real-time activational masculinizing effects on behaviors (Archer, 2006;Mazur & Booth, 1998) and long-term organizational masculinizing effects in utero that influence brain development and future behavior (Archer, 2006;Hines, 2006;Meyers-Levy & Loken, 2015;Rey & Picard, 1998). In turn, estrogen has both organizational feminizing effects in utero (Manning, 2002, McCarthy, 2008 as well as cyclical effects on behavior Farrelly, 2011;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). In the current paper, we focus on the long-term organizational effects of prenatal testosterone and estrogen in women. ...
Article
Full-text available
We explore the relationship between digit ratios (2D:4D) and materialism in women. Digit ratio is a sexually dimorphic trait that is indicative of prenatal testosterone and estrogen exposure. Across two studies, we found that masculinized digit ratios (i.e. exposure to a high testosterone-to-estrogen ratio) were associated with the happiness dimension of materialism. Furthermore, we show that women with feminized digit ratios (i.e. high estrogen-to-testosterone ratio) who were assigned to an intrasexually competitive condition scored higher on the success dimension of materialism. Overall, these findings suggest that prenatal testosterone exposure promotes stronger beliefs that possessions are an important source of happiness, while prenatal estrogen exposure promotes stronger beliefs that possessions are an important means of signalling success. Thus, prenatal hormone exposure not only influences masculinized and feminized behavior but also shapes consumers’ materialistic beliefs.
... For much of the past forty years, marketing scholars have largely ignored the biological, genetic, and evolutionary roots of consumer decision making (but see Colarelli & Dettmann, 2003;Durante & Griskevicius, 2018;Griskevicius et al., 2009;Griskevicius & Kenrick, 2013;Saad, 2011;Saad, 2007;Saad, 2013;Saad, 2017;Saad & Gill, 2000;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012;Saad & Vongas, 2009). Consumers have largely been viewed as products of their environments that otherwise transcend their biological heritage (Saad, 2008). ...
Article
Using a twin study paradigm, the genetic basis of decision making styles was explored using psychometric scales as well as actual choices. Study 1 compared monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins along the General Decision Making Scale (GDMS) and the Maximizing-Satisficing Inventory (MAX). MZ twins exhibited greater similarity than their DZ counterparts in terms of their overall GDMS scores, three of the GDMS subscales, and the MAX inventory. Study 2 measured key information processing metrics of actual choices that individuals made via a computerized informational display board. MZ twins are more similar to one another than DZ twins when it comes to the extent of information search prior to making a choice. There were no differences between the two groups of twins in terms of the selectivity and pattern of searches. The results of the two studies suggest that individuals' decision making styles are in part shaped by their genes.
... In addition to addressing the shortcomings of the present study, future research may attempt to confirm the present results by studying the association between 2D:4D ratio and personological factors, as well as circulating testosterone and salivary cortisol levels, across a range of individuals who engage in extreme sports and other risk-taking behaviors. Nonetheless, the present work, together with a growing body of similar studies at the hormonal level, demonstrates the importance of biological input in participants' behaviors when considered at risk (69)(70)(71)(72)(73)(74)(75)(76)(77)(78). ...
Article
The aim of the present study was investigate if there is an association between second‑to‑fourth digit length (2D:4D) ratio and personality factors capable of serving as predictors of individual choice towards high‑risk activities in a group of experts skydivers; Furthermore, their skills in regulating anxiety and emotions were assessed. The 2D:4D ratio of the right hand of 41 expert skydivers was measured and each of them completed four questionnaires: Big Five Questionnaire‑2 (BFQ‑2), Profile of Mood States (POMS), State‑Trait Anxiety Inventory Form Y (STAI‑Y) and Risk‑Taking Inventory. Lower 2D:4D ratios did not appear associated with a greater propensity for taking risks but rather with a lower aptitude to assume precautions in unsafe conditions. In fact, the only sub‑dimensions of personality, analyzed by the BFQ‑2, correlated with the 2D:4D ratio were conscientiousness and agreeableness. Furthermore, prior to launch, the skydiver's level of stress, measured by the POMS, or state anxiety, measured by the STAI‑Y, was not significantly correlated with 2D:4D ratio; whereas there was significant positive correlation between 2D:4D values and trait anxiety. Data analysis further revealed that social desirability correlated negatively with state anxiety and total mood disturbance index, and positively with emotion control. The present results suggest that lower 2D:4D ratio may represent a significant predictor of less attentive precautionary behavior when risk‑taking.
... Changes in women's motivations can be manifested in changes in attentive personal grooming and attractive choice of dress, a process identified as self-ornamentation [62]. For example, women appearance-related desires and beautification behaviors increased during the fertile phase [63]. They wear more fashionable dresses showing more skin according to judges who compared photographs of the same women's taken during their fertile phase versus those taken during the luteal phase [62]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of the Review In the present manuscript, we review the most important sexual cues in rodents and mammals that influence mate choice. Sexual cues lead to the approach and selection of a partner. Recent Findings In both sexes, hormone levels play an important role by increasing the sensitivity towards the sexual signals emitted by the potential partners and determining the expression of sexual signals that allows the potential partner or intra-sexual competitor to identify the reproductive status. Similarly, sexual cues emitted by both sexes can modify the hormonal status of the potential partner or intra-sexual competitors, so that they can be better skilled reproductively for sexual competition. Summary Future research should analyze the impact of the use of hormonal contraceptives, since it has been shown that they alter the sexual signals emitted and could influence the selection of partners in humans. In addition, this review will be important for anyone using a rodent model to understand sexual motivation.
... Fourth, because the T system is sexually dimorphic, and given that most of the behavioral literature in animals is concerned with males, we relied on an all-male sample (the use of same-sex participants is a common practice in the literature). It is important to note, however, that women also engage in conspicuous consumption, and preliminary evidence suggests that biological factors (including hormones that relate to the menstrual cycle) are involved [52][53][54] . As there is evidence that T promotes statusrelated behaviors in females 24,35,36 , further research should explore whether the effects of T on consumer preferences are generalizable to females, while taking into account that which brands and goods are status-enhancing is likely to differ across sexes 55 . ...
Article
Full-text available
In modern human cultures where social hierarchies are ubiquitous, people typically signal their hierarchical position through consumption of positional goods—goods that convey one’s social position, such as luxury products. Building on animal research and early correlational human studies linking the sex steroid hormone testosterone with hierarchical social interactions, we investigate the influence of testosterone on men’s preferences for positional goods. Using a placebo-controlled experiment (N = 243) to measure individuals’ desire for status brands and products, we find that administering testosterone increases men’s preference for status brands, compared to brands of similar perceived quality but lower perceived status. Furthermore, testosterone increases positive attitudes toward positional goods when they are described as status-enhancing, but not when they are described as power-enhancing or high in quality. Our results provide novel causal evidence for the biological roots of men’s preferences for status, bridging decades of animal behavioral studies with contemporary consumer research.
... Estudos relacionando o comportamento de consumo feminino e a oscilação de hormônios importantes ao ciclo menstrual (estrogênio, progesterona e outros) têm sido publicados em periódicos científicos. Oscilações hormonais podem alterar a ingesta alimentar, embora a relação ainda seja controversa (Kuga, Ikeda, & Suzuki, 1999;McVay, Copeland, Newman, & Geiselman, 2012;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012), e o mesmo acontece com decisões financeiras (Pine & Fletcher, 2011) e comportamento social (Derntl, Hack, Kryspin-Exner, & Habel, 2013;Jones et al., 2005;Markey & Markey, 2011;Romans, Clarkson, Einstein, Petrovic, & Stewart, 2012;Schwartz, Romans, Meiyappan, De Souza, & Einstein, 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Resumo A aproximação do marketing com a neurociência tem gerado expectativa tanto na academia quanto no mercado, em especial na última década. Apesar do interesse e das promessas de resultados, lacunas de conhecimento neurobiológico são percebidas acerca de formas de coleta e análise de dados. Este estudo apresenta e compara algumas ferramentas neurocientíficas que são fundamentadas em respostas não cognitivas do cérebro humano. A coleta e a análise de biomarcadores, como hormônios e níveis de atividade elétrica muscular, podem ser utilizadas em pesquisas de comportamento humano relacionadas ao consumo ou em outras interações com ações de marketing. A metodologia de aplicação dessas ferramentas, medidas resultantes e possíveis interpretações de comportamento também são discutidas, com ênfase em futura agenda de pesquisa.
... There are many examples of women expressing greater competitiveness (intrasexual) around ovulation, or a high-fertile period, compared to other phases that represent low-fertile periods. This includes economic choices and resource distribution [15,17], self-ornamentation [35], consumer behaviours to enhance appearance [36] or social standing [16], and preferences for masculine faces [9]. Given these similarities, research on women athletes could be viewed as a corollary model of intrasexual competition, but in a physical domain where both covert (e.g., intrinsic motivation) and overt (e.g., physical assertiveness) behaviours coexist. ...
Article
Background: There is evidence linking women's T to competitive behaviours in sport and exercise. To advance this work, we examined the longitudinal relationships between salivary testosterone (sal-T) and competitiveness in athletic women who differ in training status. Methods: Elite (n = 9) and non-elite (n = 21) women athletes were monitored on days 6-8 (follicular phase), 13-15 (ovulatory phase) and 20-22 (Luteal phase) of a menstrual cycle with two repeats. Salivary T levels were assessed before breakfast, followed by two questions (each rated on a 1-7 scale) on competitive desire and training motivation. Using a linear mixed model, we evaluated the menstrual phase and training status effects on each variable, before assessing the within-subject effects of sal-T on competitiveness. Results: Salivary T concentrations were higher at ovulation (effect size [ES] = 0.2-1.4), relative to the follicular and luteal phases, with a more marked response among elite women (p < .01). The competitiveness ratings showed similar menstrual-phase variation (ES = 0.6-1.0 at ovulation). A positive effect of sal-T on competitiveness emerged in both groups (p < .001), but with different slope patterns (p < .015). Specifically, the elite sal-T relationships with desire to compete (standardized β = 1.147, SE = 0.132) and training motivation (β = 1.195, SE = 0.124) were stronger compared to non-elite women (β = 0.631, SE = 0.114; β = 0.778, SE = 0.114), respectively. Conclusions: Morning sal-T concentrations, competitive desire and training motivation all peaked around ovulation in women athletes. Notably, sal-T availability and its relationship with competitiveness was stronger among high-performing athletes. Our findings confirm menstrual fluctuations in T and competitiveness among naturally-cycling women, with population context as a moderating factor.
... Measuring for example testosterone (the male sexual hormone), luteinizing hormone (related to female ovulation, Bullivant et al., 2014), or cortisol (the stress hormone) can help understand tourist experiences and behaviour (Lähteenmäki-Uutela, Räikkönen & Piha, 2016). In marketing, Saad and Stenstrom (2012) have studied the impact of the menstrual cycle on consumption. Similar approaches could be applied to female tourists. ...
Conference Paper
Notable part of consumers love also things other than people, including brands (Batra, Ahuvia & Bagozzi, 2012). Brand love is relatively new concept in academic discussion, and demonstrates consumers’ changed relationships with brands. The area is relevant for study, given the tightening competition in tourism sector for visitors, funding and support from different stakeholder groups. Studies focusing on relationships between people and places/destinations as brands, are scarce. Particularly studies examining consumers’ love towards place/destination brands are very few. However, there are two studies focusing on brand love in the context of destination brands: Swanson (2015, 2017) and Lee and Hyun’s (2016). Thus, understanding on the concept is still limited, in terms of its construct, antecedents and consequences. Given the current weaknesses in existing knowledge on destination brand love, the purpose of this study is to conceptualize the antecedents and consequences of destination brand love. Link to HTHIC 2017 Conference Proceedings, and our research note: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2017122156012
... The great majority of research within marketing and consumer behavior has operated at the proximate realm (Saad, 2007). In recent years, however, evolutionary psychology has emerged as a valuable theoretical framework for the study of consumer behavior (Durante, Griskevicius, Hill, Perilloux, & Li, 2011;Griskevicius et al., 2009;Miller, 2009;Saad, 2007Saad, , 2011Saad, , 2013Saad & Gill, 2000;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). Most explanatory theories regarding gift giving are proximate in nature (e.g., we offer gifts to those who are emotionally close to us); in this study, we offer an ultimate explanation (kin selection predisposes us to offer larger gifts to those who are genetically closer to us). ...
Article
This study examines gift giving at Israeli weddings. In accordance with kin selection theory, we hypothesized that wedding guests possessing greater genetic relatedness to the newlyweds would offer greater sums of money as wedding gifts. We also hypothesized that family members stemming from the maternal side (where the genetic lineage has higher kinship certainty) would offer the newlyweds more money than those stemming from the paternal side. Data on the monetary gift sums of the wedding guests from 30 weddings were collapsed according to two criteria: (a) genetic relatedness (0%, 6.25%, 12.5%, 25%, and 50%) and (b) kinship certainty (maternal or paternal lineage). Both hypotheses were supported. We discuss the implications of these data in understanding family dynamics, as well as practical applications associated with the marketing of gifts.
... The ovulatory shift hypothesis suggests that mating goals are particularly salient for women near ovulation. For example, when it comes to fashion, research shows that ovulation has a large effect on women's desire to look more attractive and dress in sexier outfits (Durante, Griskevicius, Hill, Perilloux, & Li, 2011;Durante, Li, & Haselton, 2008;Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). The desire to dress sexy at ovulation was found to be related specifically to outcompeting other women for access to the best men available. ...
Article
An evolutionary theoretical approach considers the adaptive function of behavior. Here we discuss what it means to use an evolutionary approach to generate predictions about consumer behavior and the value of applying an evolutionary lens to the study of consumer psychology. We begin with a discussion of the core insights of evolutionary theory and the common misperceptions associated with an evolutionary approach to the study of behavior. We then detail how specific evolutionarily informed theories can be applied to four core areas of consumer research: risk preference, competition and luxury consumption, self-control and temporal preferences, and the consumer behavior of women and families. We also discuss the strengths and limitations of an evolutionarily informed research program.
... The result was consistent with a diary study of actual expenditures on beauty-related consumption. Women in the periovulatory phase paid more money for beauty-related items of consumption (Saad & Stenstrom, 2012). Saad and Stenstorm (2012) also showed that women in the periovulatory phase paid less money for items of food consumption, possibly indicating that the women had the intention of keeping their figures attractive and avoiding weight gain to improve their physical attractiveness. ...
Article
Full-text available
Consumer behaviors are shaped by fundamental motives: affiliation, self-protection, status attainment, mate attraction, mate retention, and child-rearing. It has been argued that each fundamental motive is activated by cues pertaining to threats or opportunities linked with each fundamental motive, and may be based on qualitatively different cognitive and neural systems. Steroid hormones influence specific neural systems and consumer behaviors rooted in diverse fundamental motives. By taking steroid sex hormones as examples of internal cues, we suggested that at least three fundamental motives (status attainment, mate attraction, and mate retention) may be explained by common cognitive and neural mechanisms. Consumer behaviors rooted in diverse fundamental motives, including status attainment, mate attraction, and mate retention, may be commonly explained by social motivations/vigilance (amygdala) and reward processing (reward-related brain regions). Neuroscientific tools may be useful for refining the fundamental motive framework, and for understanding more fully consumer behaviors rooted in evolutionary motives.
Research
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of the study is to propose a framework for understanding the dynamism of the human self-system from evolutionary and socio-psychological perspective. The study aims to help scholars interested to use an evolutionary lens for examining consumer behaviour. Design/methodology/approach Relying on the principle of self-cybernetics, the study proposed a general framework explaining the operating mechanism of human self-system. The proposed framework incorporates the socio-psychological and the evolutionary perspective of the human self-concept. Findings The framework may help consumer scholars to integrate socio-psychological and evolutionary theories to produce novel and testable hypotheses. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first attempt to propose a framework based on the principle of cybernetics to facilitate the use of an evolutionary lens in consumer research.
Article
Full-text available
An extensive review of scientific literature on neuromarketing was conducted for this report. includes a full review of current-day issues of neuromarketing.
Article
Full-text available
After half a century of debate and few empirical tests, there remains no consensus concerning why ovulation in human females is considered concealed. The predominant male investment hypothesis states that females were better able to obtain material investment from male partners across those females’ ovulatory cycles by concealing ovulation. We build on recent work on female competition to propose and investigate an alternative—the female rivalry hypothesis—that concealed ovulation benefited females by allowing them to avoid aggression from other females. Using an agent-based model of mating behaviour and paternal investment in a human ancestral environment, we did not find strong support for the male investment hypothesis, but found support for the female rivalry hypothesis. Our results suggest that concealed ovulation may have benefitted females in navigating their intrasexual social relationships. More generally, this work implies that explicitly considering female–female interactions may inspire additional insights into female behaviour and physiology.
Book
Full-text available
Senzorická analýza je dôležitá metóda pre získavanie informácií o kvalite potravinárskych produktov, ktorú využívame neustále. Človek ju vykonáva častokrát nevedomky napr. pri nákupe potravín, ktoré si vyberá najčastejšie na základe preferencie prostredníctvom zraku a čuchu. Okrem hodnotenia výrobkov je možné senzorickú analýzu použiť aj v priemyselných odvetviach ako napr. vývoj nových výrobkov, testovanie surovín, výroba parfumov, skladovanie atď. Jej využitie je teda širokospektrálne.
Chapter
Full-text available
Domestic violence is a global phenomenon that concerns disciplines from psychology, public health, development, economics, human rights and others. Domestic violence occurs in all countries and settings, and across socio-economic, religious and cultural groups. Notwithstanding, research evidence and collected service data shows that women are more likely to be victims and men are perpetrators in most situations of domestic violence. All family types: nuclear and extended, traditional and same-sex, are at risk of domestic violence. Similar acts, if perpetrated under public violence would be sanctioned by law, but are often left unattended to in the domestic sphere. This chapter discusses the problem of domestic violence for women in the global South. Whilst the global South shares certain developmental characteristics; official and societal responses to domestic violence prevention and protection differ; some countries have passed the domestic violence act and others have not.
Chapter
Full-text available
Hormones exert powerful, but covert, effects on financial decision-making. These vary according to the context of the decision, the type of decision being made and features of the individual making that decision. There are differences, for example, between rapid decisions made under duress (e.g. trading) and more deliberate ones made cooperatively (e.g. management) and those made by trained professional or financial management in everyday life. This chapter focusses mainly on acute decisions. Most studies have been made on males, who have dominated professional finance. Financial decisions involve both cognition and emotion, though the two are not clearly separable. They involve both risk and reward evaluations, and hormones, particularly testosterone, cortisol and oxytocin, influence both. The rewarding function of money has to be learned, and this involves areas of the brain such as the amygdala, which are heavily influenced by steroid hormones. Decisions are influenced not only by reward (utility) but by emotions (e.g. ‘framing’). Stress, and associated levels of cortisol, can impair attention and risk assessment, and levels alter in response to uncertainty; however more prolonged increases may have different effects on risk appetite and impulsivity. Testosterone enhances competitiveness, aggression, risk appetite and optimism in finance as it does in its major role in reproduction. Testosterone levels are also sensitive to winning or losing, and this may affect subsequent decisions. In females, phases of the menstrual cycle alter risk appetite, which is maximal at midcycle. Oxytocin administration increases trust, an essential ingredient of financial transactions. Within each individual, it is the pattern of these hormones, and how they change, that determines the influence they will have on financial decisions, which should not be underestimated, though their roles have received little consideration in the world of finance.
Article
Full-text available
This monograph describes the marketing research that has been published in the top marketing journals since their inception relating to health care, broadly defined. Over 1,000 articles are summarized across the chapters relating to consumer behavior and food, consumer behavior and other consumption, and business marketing issues. Research from outside of marketing is also briefly reviewed. This monograph celebrates the research that has been accomplished and closes with suggestions for future research.
Article
Full-text available
Brève recension du livre Hormonal, de Martie Haselton (UCLA).
Article
The marketing function extends beyond the realm of goods and services. Scientific ideas must also be properly marketed using appropriate persuasion strategies. Evolutionary psychology suffers from an image problem amongst marketing scholars, many of whom remain uninterested at best and hostile at worst in applying the evolutionary lens within their research programs. This is in part due to a poor understanding of key tenets of evolutionary psychology coupled with an animus toward the framework rooted in several recurring cognitive and affective hindrances. The reality is that innumerable theoretical, epistemological, methodological, and applied benefits would accrue to marketing academics and practitioners alike by adopting the evolutionary framework within the science and practice of marketing.
Article
Loss aversion is the tendency to be more sensitive to losses than comparable gains. Recent work has shown that men's loss aversion can change when they have a currently activated mating motivation. The current research examined whether women's sensitivity to loss might be influenced by the hormones that regulate fertility, which are known to activate intra-sexual competition and mating motivation. Three studies found that women became less sensitive to loss at peak fertility—near ovulation—in some contexts. Ovulating women reported being less upset at the prospect of losing hypothetical amounts of money and products (e.g., laptop, tennis shoes), as well as accepted lower selling prices for a picture frame, an indication of decreased loss aversion. We also uncovered a theoretically-derived boundary condition for this effect: ovulation led women to become more loss averse when the product was directly relevant for enhancing attractiveness (e.g., lipstick).
Chapter
Introduction Open any introductory marketing textbook and you will learn that the role of the firm is to create, communicate, and deliver value to the consumer who, in turn, takes the passive role of paying and consuming. For many years, this was, in fact, how marketers, consumer researchers, and psychologists perceived these two roles; the notion of consumer input into value creation was almost entirely neglected.This began to change when researchers in the area of innovation identified product users modifying and innovating on their own. In fact, von Hippel, De Jong, and Flowers (2012) found that in a representative sample of UK consumers, more than 6 percent had engaged in product modification or innovation during the prior three years, resulting in annual product development expenditures 1.4 times larger than the respective research and development (R&D) expenditures of all UK firms. More broadly, what emerged was the concept of “democratizing innovation,” that getting users actively involved in the process of new product development (NPD) can be a great source of value to the consumer and, thus, the firm (von Hippel, 2005). Today, consumer input is a recognized force in new product development, so much so that the Marketing Science Institute (MSI) listed it as one of its top priorities for exploration for 2008 through 2010.A parallel development in the marketplace has been that firms are going after smaller and more well-defined segments (Dalgic & Leeuw, 1994; Kotler & Armstrong, 2013). This is due to a number of factors, including the abundance of brands competing in many sectors; the rapid growth in media outlets, particularly online; and the increasing amount of information available on individual consumers. The result is that, in both media (Nelson-Field & Riebe, 2011) and products (Dalgic, 2006), the use of niche marketing is on the rise, while mass marketing is becoming an increasingly less viable option, particularly for new products.These two developments, consumer involvement in design as well as smaller target markets, have resulted in the practice of self-customization, where instead of offering ready-made products, the firm equips consumers with the tools to customize and design their own product. This can be viewed as the ultimate form of niche marketing, where the resulting segments consist of individuals.
Article
Full-text available
An evolutionary theoretical approach considers the adaptive function of behavior. This article discusses what it means to use an evolutionary approach to generate predictions, and discusses two specific evolutionarily informed theories that have uncovered novel insights into consumer behavior. First, the fundamental motives framework highlights the social challenges faced by our ancestors (e.g., finding mates, avoiding disease) that continue to influence modern consumers in specific and often contradictory ways. Second, the ovulatory shift hypothesis highlights that women experience an increase in mating motivation near ovulation (e.g., increased desire to attract men and outcompete rival women) that has important implications for consumers. An evolution-informed approach can generate new insights about consumer behavior.
Article
Full-text available
Recent research shows that women experience nonconscious shifts across different phases of the monthly ovulatory cycle. For example, women at peak fertility (near ovulation) are attracted to different kinds of men and show increased desire to attend social gatherings. Building on the evolutionary logic behind such effects, we examined how, why, and when hormonal fluctuations associated with ovulation influenced women's product choices. In three experiments, we show that at peak fertility women nonconsciously choose products that enhance appearance (e.g., choosing sexy rather than more conservative clothing). This hormonally regulated effect appears to be driven by a desire to outdo attractive rival women. Consequently, minimizing the salience of attractive women who are potential rivals suppresses the ovulatory effect on product choice. This research provides some of the first evidence of how, why, and when consumer behavior is influenced by hormonal factors.
Book
Full-text available
The mating mind' revives and extends Darwin's suggestion that sexual selection through mate choice was important in human mental evolution - especially the more 'self-expressive' aspects of human behavior, such as art, morality, language, and creativity. Their 'survival value' has proven elusive, but their adaptive design features suggest they evolved through mutual mate choice, in both sexes, to advertise intelligence, creativity, moral character, and heritable fitness. The supporting evidence includes human mate preferences, courtship behavior, behavior genetics, psychometrics, and life history patterns. The theory makes many testable predictions, and sheds new light on human cognition, motivation, communication, sexuality, and culture.
Article
Full-text available
[Conveys] the excitement of a field that has embraced the perspectives and contributions of diverse lines of research [in attempting to understand the interactions between hormones and behavior]. [Gives] due credit to those scientists who laid the foundations of the field by presenting current ideas, hypotheses, and theories within the context of their historical origins. [Attempts] to present behavioral endocrinology in a comparative perspective by including examples of hormone–behavior interactions in as many different kinds of animals as possible. . . . Toward this end, the adaptive function, as well as the physiological mechanisms, of hormone–behavior interactions are presented throughout the text. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Drawing from costly signaling theory, we predicted that luxury consumption enhances status and produces benefits in social interactions. Across seven experiments, displays of luxury — manipulated through brand labels on clothes — elicited different kinds of preferential treatment, which even resulted in financial benefits to people who engaged in conspicuous consumption. Furthermore, we tested preconditions in which the beneficial consequences of conspicuous consumption may arise and determined the proximate mechanisms underlying them. The present data suggest that luxury consumption can be a profitable social strategy because conspicuous displays of luxury qualify as a costly signaling trait that elicits status-dependent favorable treatment in human social interactions.
Article
Full-text available
As a market, women represent an opportunity bigger than China and India combined. They control $20 trillion in consumer spending, and that figure could reach $28 trillion in the next five years. Women drive the world economy, in fact. Yet most companies do a remarkably poor job of serving them, a new study by the Boston Consulting Group reveals. BCG surveyed more than 12,000 women from a variety of geographies, income levels, and walks of life about their education, finances, homes, jobs, activities, interests, relationships, hopes, and fears, as well as their shopping behaviors and spending patterns. In this article, Silverstein and Sayre, two of the firm's partners, review highlights of the findings and explain the biggest opportunities. While any business would be wise to target female consumers, they say, the greatest potential lies in six industries: food, fitness, beauty, apparel, health care, and financial services. Address women's concerns effectively, and your company could see the kind of rapid growth that fitness chain Curves enjoyed. Most health clubs are expensive and designed for men, with lots of complicated body-building equipment. Curves, however, understood that time-pressed women needed quick, affordable workouts, and came up with the concept of simple, 30-minute exercise routines geared to women and offered in no-frills spaces. Companies that likewise successfully tailor their offerings to women will be positioned to win when the economy begins to recover.
Article
Full-text available
To see whether estrus was really "lost" during human evolution (as researchers often claim), we examined ovulatory cycle effects on tip earnings by professional lap dancers working in gentlemen's clubs. Eighteen dancers recorded their menstrual periods, work shifts, and tip earnings for 60 days on a study web site. A mixed-model analysis of 296 work shifts (representing about 5300 lap dances) showed an interaction between cycle phase and hormonal contraception use. Normally cycling participants earned about US$335 per 5-h shift during estrus, US$260 per shift during the luteal phase, and US$185 per shift during menstruation. By contrast, participants using contraceptive pills showed no estrous earnings peak. These results constitute the first direct economic evidence for the existence and importance of estrus in contemporary human females, in a real-world work setting. These results have clear implications for human evolution, sexuality, and economics.
Article
Full-text available
Because ancestral women faced trade-offs in choosing mates, they may have evolved to pursue a dual-mating strategy in which they secured investment through one partner and obtained good genes through others. The dual-mating theory predicts that women will display greater interest in extra-pair sex near ovulation, especially if they are mated to a primary male partner who is low in sexual attractiveness. Forty-three normally ovulating women rated their partner's sexual attractiveness and separately reported their own desires and their partner's mate retention behaviors at high and low fertility (confirmed using luteinizing hormone tests). In the high-fertility session relative to the low, women who assessed their partners as being lower in sexual attractiveness reported greater extra-pair desires and more expressed love and attention from their male partners. Women's desire for their own partners did not differ significantly between high and low-fertility sessions.
Article
Full-text available
We present an evolutionary framework for examining the influence of different positive emotions on cognition and behavior. Testing this framework, we investigate how two positive emotions-pride and contentment-influence product desirability. Three experiments show that different positive emotions (compared with a neutral control condition) have specific effects on judgment that are consistent with the proposed underlying evolved function of each positive emotion. As predicted by the framework, the specific influences of pride and contentment on product desirability are mediated by the triggering of emotion-specific functional motives. Overall, an evolutionary approach presents important research implications and practical applications for how and why discernible positive and negative emotions influence thinking and behavior. We discuss the implications of an evolutionary approach for the study of emotions, highlighting key similarities and differences between this and other approaches, as well as noting the advantages of incorporating an evolutionary approach. (c) 2010 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
Article
The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption by Gad Saad applies Darwinian principles in understanding our consumption patterns and the products of popular culture that most appeal to individuals. The first and only scholarly work to do so, this is a captivating study of the adaptive reasons behind our behaviors, cognitions, emotions, and perceptions. This lens of analysis suggests how we come to make selections such as choosing a mate, the foods we eat, the gifts that we offer, and more. It also highlights how numerous forms of dark side consumption, including pathological gambling, compulsive buying, pornographic addiction, and eating disorders, possess a Darwinian etiology.
Article
It is a long held assumption that women have concealed ovulation, which means that men do not know when women's menstrual cycles are in their most fertile phase. Recent empirical results have provided evidence that ovulation may not be totally concealed from pair-bonded males, but the generality and the mechanisms of the finding demand further study. To examine the possible adaptive value of the phenomenon, it is necessary to study whether the ability to detect ovulation is confined to males. We studied these questions in an experiment in which male and female raters rated the sexual attractiveness and intensity of T-shirts' odors worn by 42 women using oral contraceptives (pill users) and by 39 women without oral contraceptives (nonusers). Males rated the sexual attractiveness of nonusers highest at midcycle. However, female raters showed only a nonsignificant trend for this relationship. Neither sex rated attractiveness of the odors of pill users according to their menstrual cycle. The results indicate that men can use olfactory cues to distinguish between ovulating and nonovulating women. Furthermore, the contrasting results between pill users and nonusers may indicate that oral contraceptives demolish the cyclic attractiveness of odors. Together, these findings give more basis for the study of the role of odors in human sexual behavior. Copyright 2004.
Article
Objectives: To provide specific estimates of the likely occurrence of the six fertile days (the “fertile window”) during the menstrual cycle. Design: Prospective cohort study. Participants: 221 healthy women who were planning a pregnancy. Main outcome measures: The timing of ovulation in 696 menstrual cycles, estimated using urinary metabolites of oestrogen and progesterone. Results: The fertile window occurred during a broad range of days in the menstrual cycle. On every day between days 6 and 21, women had at minimum a 10% probability of being in their fertile window. Women cannot predict a sporadic late ovulation; 4-6% of women whose cycles had not yet resumed were potentially fertile in the fifth week of their cycle. Conclusions: In only about 30% of women is the fertile window entirely within the days of the menstrual cycle identified by clinical guidelines—that is, between days 10 and 17. Most women reach their fertile window earlier and others much later. Women should be advised that the timing of their fertile window can be highly unpredictable, even if their cycles are usually regular.
Article
The prevalence of obesity has increased substantially over the past 30 years. We performed a quantitative analysis of the nature and extent of the person-to-person spread of obesity as a possible factor contributing to the obesity epidemic. We evaluated a densely interconnected social network of 12,067 people assessed repeatedly from 1971 to 2003 as part of the Framingham Heart Study. The body-mass index was available for all subjects. We used longitudinal statistical models to examine whether weight gain in one person was associated with weight gain in his or her friends, siblings, spouse, and neighbors. Discernible clusters of obese persons (body-mass index [the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters], > or =30) were present in the network at all time points, and the clusters extended to three degrees of separation. These clusters did not appear to be solely attributable to the selective formation of social ties among obese persons. A person's chances of becoming obese increased by 57% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6 to 123) if he or she had a friend who became obese in a given interval. Among pairs of adult siblings, if one sibling became obese, the chance that the other would become obese increased by 40% (95% CI, 21 to 60). If one spouse became obese, the likelihood that the other spouse would become obese increased by 37% (95% CI, 7 to 73). These effects were not seen among neighbors in the immediate geographic location. Persons of the same sex had relatively greater influence on each other than those of the opposite sex. The spread of smoking cessation did not account for the spread of obesity in the network. Network phenomena appear to be relevant to the biologic and behavioral trait of obesity, and obesity appears to spread through social ties. These findings have implications for clinical and public health interventions.
Article
Despite the extraordinary advances in biology in the 20th century, along with the infusion of Darwinian theory across countless domains of human import, marketing and consumer scholars have doggedly forgotten, rejected, or ignored that consumers are biological beings shaped by a common set of evolutionary forces. Accordingly, this collective amnesia has yielded disciplines that largely focus on the disjointed and incoherent cataloguing of empirical findings, all of which operate at the proximate level. A complete and accurate understanding of any biological organism requires that it be studied at both the proximate and ultimate (in the Darwinian adaptive sense of the term) levels. Hence, at best, marketing and consumer scholars generate incomplete accounts of Homo consumericus and at worst they provide erroneous theories that eventually fall by the epistemological wayside. Should the collective amnesia persist, marketing and consumer scholars will further contribute to the sinking of our discipline into the abyss of irrelevant sciences, disconnected from the revolutionary work that is being conducted within the natural sciences.
Article
The menstrual cycle is presumed to exert a powerful influence on the behavior of women. Dalton (1964) studied the effects of the menstrual cycle on female behavior and reported that 49% of acute medical and surgical hospital admissions occurred, the highest incidence of psychiatric admissions occurred, and that more suicide attempts are made on the four premenstrual and four menstrual days than during comparable periods of time in other parts of the month. He also found that 45% of the female industrial employees who report sick do so on the four premenstrual and four menstrual days. Sixty-two per cent of the crimes of violence committed by female prison inmates were committed in the premenstrual week according to Parker (1960). In a study of psychiatric admission rates, Janowsky (1969) reported findings indicating an aggravation of manic, catatonic, and schizophrenic symptoms during the premenstrual-menstrual phases of mental patients. Many women present variations in mood over the menstrual cycle with the most noticeable effects occurring during the premenstrual period (Parker, 1960). Many women become depressed or irritable. Accompanying physical symptoms are headache, backache, nausea, and edema. In some women these mood and physical changes are so extreme that gynecologists refer to the condition as premenstrual tension or the premenstrual tension syndrome (Parker, 1960). Apparently it is the psychological more often than the physical symptom that is the presenting complaint (Perr, 1958). Most women menstruate (Mazer and Israel, 1951). In view of the prevalence of the condition and the extreme physical and psychological effects reported, it is surprising that relatively few investigations of the phenomenon have been reported. * This report is based on an Honors Thesis submitted by the senior author in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors at Cornell College. The research was conducted with the supervision of the junior author.
Article
This study examines the relationship between daily weather and daily shopping patterns. The weather construct is operationalised using data from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, whilst the shopping data is a shopper count from a major shopping centre. Results from a multiple regression analysis suggest that the most tangible weather variables (rainfall and temperature) provide cues for shopping decisions. Possible linkages between weather, mood, and behaviour are discussed as an alternative to the physical deterrents / inducements explanation of this association.
Article
People who feel unhappy are usually motivated to eliminate this unpleasant affective state. However, the objective they pursue could be either general (e.g., to feel better) or specific (to remedy the conditions that gave rise to their negative feelings). Three studies examined the factors that determined the level of specificity at which individuals define their affect-regulatory objective and their attraction to activities that bear on this objective. Participants were attracted to activities that could potentially eliminate the specific concerns that elicited their negative affect only if (a) the description of these activities called attention to these concerns or (b) they were explicitly told to think about the situation that gave rise to their unpleasant feelings. More generally, participants were attracted to activities that were intrinsically attractive but irrelevant to the situation that produced the negative affect they were experiencing.
Article
This study investigates the impact of task definition, a situational measure, on storeattribute saliences and store choice for do-it-yourself (DIY) products. Five types of task definitions experienced by shoppers of do-it-yourself products were identified and linked to store attributes. A survey of DIY shoppers revealed that task definitions were related to both store choice and store-attribute saliences. The study has important implications for retailer format strategies as well as for the interpretation of store evaluation processes, satisfaction, and loyalty.
Article
When considering why women are more prone to money pathologies than men the influence of ovarian hormones cannot be ruled out. The phases of the menstrual-cycle are known to have a range of behavioural, psychological and physical correlates. It is well documented, for example, that women are more rational and controlled post-ovulation, but experience a rise in impulsive behaviour, anxiety and irritability during the pre-menstrual (or luteal) phase. At ovulation, or peak fertility, it has been shown that women adapt their dress style to impress men – known as the ornamentation effect. However, to date the role of fluctuating ovarian hormones on female economic behaviour has been largely ignored. This article reports the findings from a survey of 443 females, aged 18–50, reporting their spending in the previous seven days and their menstrual-cycle phase, follicular, mid-cycle or luteal. Women in the luteal phase were significantly less controlled and more impulsive than women earlier in their cycle. A significant correlation was also found for over-spending, lack of control and buyers’ remorse with day of cycle. These findings suggest that the adverse impact of ovarian hormones upon self-regulation may account for impulsive and excessive economic behaviour in women.
Article
Research has failed to reach consensus on the characteristics of attractive male faces. Different studies have reported preferences for phenotypically average faces, and faces with both exaggerated and reduced sexual dimorphism. Recent studies demonstrate cyclic changes in female sexual behavior and preferences for odors and facial characteristics that may reflect conditional mating strategies. We employed computer graphic techniques to manipulate the “masculinity” or “femininity” of a composite male face by exaggerating or reducing the shape differences between female and male average faces. Five stimuli with varying levels of masculinity and femininity were presented in a national U.K. magazine, with a questionnaire. Female respondents in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle (n = 55) were significantly more likely to choose a masculine face than those in menses and luteal phases (n = 84). This study provides further evidence that when conception is most likely, females prefer testosterone-related facial characteristics that may honestly advertise immunocompetence.
Article
Past research suggests that store atmosphere affects merchandise quality inferences, in turn affecting store image. Yet, lighting, music, and other atmospheric features also serve a social identity function (i.e., a social role). According to the functional theory of attitudes, appeals are most persuasive when they address the motives underlying the attitude targeted for change. If store atmosphere acts as a social identity appeal, then an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere should positively influence quality percep- tions of social identity products (i e., socially communicative products) but not utilitarian products (i.e., intrinsically rewarding products). To test this, two experi- ments were conducted that differed in the type of social and utilitarian products under evaluation and the degree of store information provided. The results of both studies indicated that store atmosphere influenced perceptions of social identity products but had little effect on perceptions of utilitarian products. Furthermore, store atmosphere elicited different shopping motives and purchasing intentions. In addition to contrib- uting to the understanding of how store atmosphere affects store inferences, this article extends previous research and theory on attitude functions by suggesting that situations can elicit motives as well as serve as subtle, product-nonspecific appeals, selectively affecting judgments of products that are consistent (rather than inconsis- tent) with the situational appeal's function.
Article
In line with evolutionary principles of reproduction and mate selection, the current research shows that women's attention to status cues fluctuates across their menstrual cycle. Specifically, we show that women pay more attention to status products in a visual display around ovulation than in other phases of their menstrual cycle. Pill use eliminates these cycle phase effects. The results are discussed in relation to research on female mating goals and conspicuous consumption.
Article
Research and theorization on branding is one of the most robust areas of inquiry in both marketing and consumer behavior. The present article advocates a novel source of ideas for use in conceptualizing the origins and functions of branding—the evolution of human capacity for symbolic reasoning and group identity. Drawing on theories of the evolution of human culture, I examine three examples of branding narratives constructed around interpersonal ties gained from commercial DNA testing. The first deals with the human tendency to see the self as part of a group having a unique and attractive history. The second examines humans' desire to reach outward to others seen as having the same traits and values as ourselves. The third deals with the negotiation of identity within a branded community. I propose that the human impulse toward the composition of self- and group-serving narratives underlies the origination and perpetuation of branding. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Article
The current paper serves two purposes. First, it reviews the neuroimaging literature most relevant to the field of marketing (e.g., neuroeconomics, decision neuroscience, and neuromarketing). Second, it posits that evolutionary theory is a consilient and organizing meta-theoretical framework for neuromarketing research. The great majority of neuroimaging studies suffer from the illusion of explanatory depth namely the sophistication of the neuroimaging technologies provides a semblance of profundity to the reaped knowledge, which is otherwise largely disjointed and atheoretical. Evolutionary theory resolves this conundrum by recognizing that the human mind has evolved via the processes of natural and sexual selection. Hence, in order to provide a complete understanding of any given neuromarketing phenomenon requires that it be tackled at both the proximate level (as is currently the case) and the ultimate level (i.e., understanding the adaptive reason that would generate a particular neural activation pattern). Evolutionary psychology posits that the human mind consists of a set of domain-specific computational systems that have evolved to solve recurring adaptive problems. Accordingly, rather than viewing the human mind as a general-purpose domain-independent organ, evolutionary cognitive neuroscientists recognize that many neural activation patterns are instantiations of evolved computational systems in evolutionarily relevant domains such as survival, mating, kin selection, and reciprocity. As such, an evolutionary neuromarketing approach recognizes that the neural activation patterns associated with numerous marketing-related phenomena can be mapped onto the latter Darwinian modules thus providing a unifying meta-theory for this budding discipline. Copyright
Article
The role of peripheral flash advertisements in decision making as a distractor or a source of arousal was examined. Participants were asked to perform multiattribute decision making in a display environment with or without banners of advertisement flashing occasionally in the peripheral region of the display. The flash banners accelerated the speed of decision making, although the participants rarely made eye movements in response to the banners or fixated their eyes on them. It was interesting to note that the participants' pupil sizes increased with the presence of flash banners. These findings suggest that rather than distracting participants' attention, flash banners appear to elevate the general level of arousal of the participants, which in turn led to making faster on-line decisions. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Article
The chemical communication between humans has received considerable attention recently. Among the findings in psychology and anthropology have been the effects of putative human pheromones on the evaluation of persons. This article investigates if the finding that the pheromone androstenol influences person evaluation extends to the evaluation of products. In a laboratory experiment, 120 participants randomly assigned to either an experimental or control group rated three magazines. It was found that male consumers evaluate male magazines as more masculine and more positively under the influence of the putative male pheromone androstenol, whereas no such effects were found for magazines rated neutral or feminine and with respect to female consumers. Possible contextual and other factors influencing these results are discussed. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Article
Past research demonstrates that most people have a certain time of day when they are most alert and able to perform at their best. The authors investigate the effect of consumers' “morningness”–“eveningness” orientation and time of day on their performance. Two experiments explore whether synchrony between peak circadian periods and time of testing influences consumers' performance. Results suggest robust synchrony and time-of-day effects on the dependent variables. Study 1 shows that circadian rhythm strongly influences customers' waiting time and service evaluations. The use of signal-detection methods in Study 2 reveals that participants were better able to recall and recognize ads when tests were performed during their peak circadian time. Overall, subjects showed better performance at their peak than at their off-peak time of day. The authors discuss the theoretical significance of their findings and the managerial implications for marketing research and practice.
Article
Exposure to mating cues activates the goal to signal one's mate value to members of the opposite sex. This mate attraction goal may render men perceptually ready for products that signal their mate value to women. As men's mate value is partly determined by their financial prospects, men may be more likely to notice products that would signal their financial resources to women. The current study demonstrates that exposure to a sexily dressed woman increases single men's likelihood of noticing status products in a visual display. Not only do these findings further support the link between conspicuous consumption and male mating strategies, they are the first to demonstrate perceptual readiness for indirect (i.e., products) rather than direct (i.e., opposite sex individuals) means for reproduction.
Article
There is growing evidence that hormones play an important role in a number of cognitive processes. This challenges the concept of the brain as a computer in favor of it being thought of as a gland. However studies of hormones and cognition have often lacked clear hypotheses. The current study based its hypothesis on an evolutionary analysis. Previous studies suggest that women selectively reduce activities increasing risk of sexual assault when ovulating. Oral contraceptives blocked this effect, suggesting a hormonal mechanism. This study tested if there was a general decrease in risky choices during ovulation. 176 women were classified as menstrual, postmenstrual, ovulatory or premenstrual, and chose between a guaranteed ($85) or risky outcome (85% chance of $100). Phase affected rate of risky choice only for women not taking contraceptives. The effect was entirely due to risky choices dropping to 0% for ovulating women not taking contraceptives. This adds to evidence that understanding neurochemistry is important for understanding decision making, and adds to the plausibility of a field of cognitive neuroendocrinology.
Article
The purpose of this study is to determine whether customers' diurnal preferences, tested at different times of the day, affect their responses and behavior. Three studies explore whether synchrony between the peak circadian arousal period and the time of participant testing influenced participants' temporal perception and behavior. Overall, the results imply a robust synchrony and time-of-day effects on the dependent variables. The authors discuss the theoretical significance of their findings and the managerial implications for consumer research and practice.
Article
This paper investigates how people's food choices can be shaped by the body type of others around them. Using a professionally constructed obesity prosthesis, we show that the body type of a (confederate) server in a taste test study was sufficient to alter both the quantity (Experiment 1) and specific choices (Experiment 2) participants made but that chronic dieters and non-dieters exhibited opposite effects. While non-dieters ate more snacks when the server was thin, dieters ate more when the server was heavy. Dieters were also more persuaded by a heavy (vs. a thin) server, choosing both a healthy and unhealthy snack more often when she recommended it to them. We suggest these results may be attributable to identification with the server.