Your Take 

Your Take: Study Shows Materialism & Security Linked

Email  Print Print  

There’s an intriguing study out of the University of New Hampshire that shows a relationship between how secure you feel and how you value possessions. People with heightened feelings of interpersonal feelings, which is defined by a sense of being loved and accepted by others, seem to value their possessions less than those who don’t have those same feelings. Professor Edward Lemay, an assistant professor of psychology, and his team discovered that “people who did not feel secure placed a value on an item that was five times greater than the value placed on the same item by more secure people.”

“People value possessions, in part, because they afford a sense of protection, insurance, and comfort,” Lemay says. “But what we found was that if people already have a feeling of being loved and accepted by others, which also can provide a sense of protection, insurance, and comfort, those possessions decrease in value.”

The researchers theorize that the study results could be used to help people with hoarding disorders

Having seen a few minutes of TV shows about hoarders and reading news stories about their obsessions, I’m not surprised that this link may exist. All of the stories I’ve read or seen have painted hoarders as solitary individuals with limited social contact with others, which is usually the result of a psychological disorder.

What do you think?

{ 17 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

Related Posts

RSS Subscribe Like this article? Get all the latest articles sent to your email for free every day. Enter your email address and click "Subscribe." Your email will only be used for this daily subscription and you can unsubscribe anytime.

17 Responses to “Your Take: Study Shows Materialism & Security Linked”

  1. Hunter says:

    Was this study restricted to physical possessions, it seems like it was? What about financial possessions / assets. Personaly Iwould not feel comfortable with the house, car, junk, etc, knowing that I was in debt, broke, insolvent, etc. Financial assets must come first for me othrwise there is no security.

    • MoneyNing says:

      I also wondered whether the link is just with possessions, or actually experiences too. (ie, does a secure person value “spending money” more because it makes them feel better about their status and place in life.)

      It would seem to me that there’s a link, but not just with possessions. Perhaps less secure people have a greater need to feel like they have the ability to acquire anything (stuff, experiences, whatnameyou)?

  2. IcantThinkofAcleverName says:

    I agree. I make a great income and I would be more than happy to take a pay cut as long as the work day was reduced and I could spend more time with the ones I love and doing things that I enjoy. Money provides opportunities but, it cannot buy happiness.

  3. Shirley says:

    Those hoarder stories, and seeing the dangers that hoarding causes, are downright scary.

    My thoughts run along the line that if I haven’t used it in the last 12 months, I don’t need it and it’s time to get rid of it.

    • Strebkr says:

      Do you save them up and have a garage sale or do you just donate them?

      • Shirley says:

        I ask if family or friends can use them, and if there are no takers, I donate them. I don’t actually ‘save them up’ but sometimes when a hobby or activity has seen its day, there will be several related items.

  4. mannymacho says:

    heightened feelings of interpersonal feelings?

  5. NateUVM says:

    Hate to nit-pick, but the title had me thinking that this was mentioning a study where being materialistic was linked to being MORE secure, possibly in a financial way…

    Perhaps the title should’ve been, “Study Shows Materialism and INsecurity Linked”?

    More to the point, nice post. One of those things that, if you think about it, probably makes a lot of intuitive sense. But it’s interesting that they’ve gone out and gotten more than anecdotal evidence to back that up.

  6. freeby50 says:

    Anyone is better off dealing with their own problems if lots of people live and support them.

    I would think that anyone with some sort of psychological disorder would be better able to handle their disorder if they had better, more supportive, more loving relationships with friends and family. e.g. an alcoholic who is alone and unloved is likely going to turn to the bottle more readily than an alcoholic with a very supportive family and loving spouse.

    I’m doubtful that lack of loving relationships *causes* hoarding or anything else. Hoarders have a specific psychological affliction that causes them to have an addictive compulsion to keep stuff. I’ve seen one program when they tested the brain activity of a hoarder and then they asked the hoarder if they wanted to throw away stuff. THrowing out even garbage caused activity in the pain centers of the hoarders brain.

    I think hoarders have limited social contact as a result of their hoarding problem. I don’t that limited social contact causes people to be hoarders.

    Just my opinion of course.

  7. zapeta says:

    I think this makes sense. People buy things to fill holes in their lives all the time, and this research just shows it.

  8. Sounds like psychobabble.

    Moi, I have no reason to feel secure. I’m unemployed & too old to get another job. I have no live-in companion or significant other. I have few friends. I will depend on Social Security (which certain factions would like to get rid of) and savings invested in the stock market (we know how reliable that is) to live. I’m tens of thousands of dollars underwater on a mortgage on a modest house. Yet I not only feel no desire to acquire more junk, I feel increasingly moved to divest myself of unneeded possessions.

    Maybe something’s wrong with me.

  9. JJ says:

    The study needs to look at money as a possession (as well as non-currency possessions). People probably save more money for the same reason. If you don’t feel you have the love and support of a spouse, kids, extended family, and community aren’t you more likely to save more money (to make sure you can take care of yourself)?

    Isn’t money a “possession” too?

  10. bloodbath says:

    I believe there is something to this study. My daughter seem to have the symptoms. I have often wondered why she cut herself off from family and friends and surrounds herself with ‘possessions’ most of them unopened packages, shelving, crates and boxes. She has an unnatural connection to these ‘things’ and grows angry if anyone asks to enter her room or ask to borrow something like a sweater for example.

  11. Wilma says:

    I use the term “Pack Rat” to describe my hoarding instincts. I work 2 jobs and go out every Sunday to breakfast with my family. So I’m not a solitary loner or hermit. My family tries to get me to throw things out but I can’t. Now I DO throw out the garbage curbside every week and I wash the dishes, do laundry etc. I just have a thing about saving stuff that could be used or parts could be salvaged for use later. I know where everything is which freaks people out. There’s an annual Memorial Day yard sale in my town and I some times take some of those treasures out onto the front lawn with a free sign and they always go. I feel better that they found a home instead of the landfill and it keeps the clutter down in my home. I want to buy a new flat screen tv but can’t do it cause my 32″ tube tv is still in working order.

    I don’t know why I feel so connected to these items but at the same time I don’t know why others feel so do disconnected to their possessions that they can just toss them cause of a flaw due to use or something newer came out. We are such a wasteful society.

    • Shirley says:

      My desire to ‘stay uncluttered’ started with disposing of my parents’ belongings after their deaths. That was an eye-opener and made me realize just how much a person can accumulate without even noticing it. I won’t do that to my kids.

Please Leave a Reply
Bargaineering Comment Policy

Previous Article: «
Next Article: »
Advertising Disclosure: Bargaineering may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.
About | Contact Me | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Terms of Use | Press
Copyright © 2016 by All rights reserved.