Shopping – more like gathering than hunting? (study)

If you’re the type who enjoys (or otherwise takes advantage of) the January sales, you might be interested in taking a look at the work of professor Daniel J. Kruger of University of Michigan [pictured]. A news release from the university (2009) related Dr. Kruger’s take on the subject of shopping, saying :

“- it’s perfectly natural that men often can’t distinguish a sage sock from a beige sock or that sometimes women can’t tell if the shoe department is due north or west from the escalator.”

Along with Dreyson Lee Byker, Dr. Kruger published a paper in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 2009, 3(4): 328-342. ‘Evolved foraging psychology underlies sex differences in shoping [sic] experiences and behaviors’ which explained that :

“For the most part, contemporary stereotypes of women in modern industrial countries perceive women as enjoying shopping more than men. Our research provides evidence that this popular stereotype exists because most shopping activities have a greater similarity to women’s traditional activities of foraging and gathering than they do to men’s traditional activity of hunting. The results of our study show that shopping has significantly more in common with gathering than it does with hunting.”

Bonus Assignment [optional] Could retailers maximise their sales by making the shopping experience more like ancient hunting and gathering – if so, how?

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