Text full multimedia monochrome

First time here?

Find out more about how The Lecture List works.

Coronavirus situation update

Our lecture organisers may or may not have had time to update their events with cancellation notices. Clearly social gatherings are to be avoided and that includes lectures. STAY AT HOME FOLKS, PLEASE.


Find out what you can do to keep The Lecture List online

Cafe Scientifique: Craving shopping

As the January sales hit stores across the UK, it’s time to uncover the science behind shopping sprees. What is the exhilarating rush we experience when we bag a bargain? Do we have a biological urge to buy? Are shopaholics really addicted? Dr. Nigel Marlow, Consumer and Business Psychologist at London Metropolitan University, will be explaining ‘the Unconscious Shopper’, arguing that the majority of our consumption is heavily influenced by non-rational or sub-conscious processes and this in turn has dramatic consequences for our quality of life.

I-pods, cars, second homes, mobile phones, records, handbags, shoes: What do we really need? How much of our craving to consume is a result of the psychological need for status? What part of our brain is driving this desire? What are the global implications for a consuming society?

Based on Abraham Maslow’s famous ‘Hierarchy of Needs’, Marlow builds upon the theory of humankind’s basic essential needs, such as food and water, to explore the psychological want for material objects. Consumption in the Western world, although partly functional, is more and more centred around status. Are consumers buying to make themselves happy, and if so, how long does that high last? What can material goods really say about us?

Marlow will also talk about the wider impact the material world can have on the natural one – looking at global warming, sustainability and dwindling natural resources. In chasing our consumer dreams are we creating a hell on earth?

Nigel Marlow originally took a management degree at Leeds and had 15 years in the ‘rag-trade’.
He became interested in Psychology about 12 years ago and switched careers. He currently lectures and does research at London Metroplitan University. His interest is firmly in psychology applied to our everyday lives and he has developed MSc’s in both Business and Consumer Psychology.


Dr Nigel Marlow | talks


Date and Time:

19 January 2005 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Dana Centre
165 Queen's Gate
+44 20 79 42 40 40
Show map

Organised by:

Science Museum
See other talks organised by Science Museum...




Available from:

Tickets are FREE but must be pre-booked on: 020 7942 4040 or tickets@danacentre.org.uk

Register to tell a friend about this lecture.


If you would like to comment about this lecture, please register here.


Any ad revenue is entirely reinvested into the Lecture List's operating fund