Consumption is the process by which people acquire, use, and keep resources. The term applies to domains that can be exhausted in the literal sense—such as food, drink, and drugs of abuse—as well as things that people consume only metaphorically, such as shopping and enjoyable experiences. There is not a large body of academic research on consumption from a lifespan developmental perspective.

However, information can be pieced together from a few relevant sources, including research on life history strategy from evolutionary psychology, research on consumer decisions and acquisitiveness, research on how people spend and save money throughout the lifespan, and cohort data on how people allocate resources across life stages. Each is reviewed in this entry, and much is also available in The Interdisciplinary Science of ...

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