Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why Women Can't Get Enough of Shopping

Ever wondered why women spend so much time in shopping, while men just get in and quickly get out with the relevant stuff? Well, the answer lies in their genes, say researchers.

According to lead researcher Daniel Kruger, from University of Michigan, different shopping styles date back to the skills that women used for gathering plant foods and the skills that men used for hunting meat.

"We have evidence that the kind of skills, abilities and behaviors that are important for hunting and gathering in current foraging societies emerge predictably in our modern consumer environment," said Kruger.

He said gathering edible plants and fungi are traditionally done by women. In modern terms, think of filling a basket by selecting one item at a time.

Women in foraging societies return to the same patches that yield previous successful harvests, and usually stay close to home and use landmarks as guides, said Kruger.

Foraging is a daily activity, often social, and can include young children, if necessary. When gathering, women must be very adept at choosing just the right color, texture and smell to ensure food safety and quality. They also must time harvests and know when a certain depleted patch will regenerate and yield good harvest again.

In modern terms, women are much more likely than men to know when a specific type of item will go on sale. They also spend much more time choosing the perfect fabric, colour and texture.

However, men, on the other hand, often have a specific item in mind and want to get in, get it and get out, Kruger said.

The study appears in Journal of Social, Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology.


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