How Advertising Manipulates Our “Caveman” Brains


It is becoming increasingly clear that widespread consumption is wrecking havoc on the planet. But, if it’s making us happier then perhaps it’s worth the compromise, some argue. Strangely, that doesn’t appear to be the case, either. The spreading westernized belief that “more” possessions equates to more happiness hasn’t panned out. In fact, statistically, the First World now has more depression, alcoholism, crime, anxiety, obesity and overall dissatisfaction with life than was reported 50 years ago. What if “more” isn’t “more” in terms of consumption? Recent research is now shedding light on the phenomenon.These studies suggest that our Stone Age brains, or what scientists refer to as the “primitive” brain is evolved to want more, but not necessarlily to ENJOY more. For example, Brain scans by Emory University revealed that the reward-chemical dopamine is released when we spot a product and consider buying it. Interestingly, only the anticipation releases dopamine. After the item is bought, the high often evaporates within minutes, and the purchaser may be indifferent to having one more item or even suffer from “buyer’s remorse”.


  1. Clara 8 years ago

    I didn’t get that when I bought some new shoes yesterday. I was thrilled for hours!

  2. Author
    pierssp 8 years ago

    yea, but thats different, you dont have many shoes. It’s about excessive consumption.. Like I used to be with sneakers I guess..

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