In The Conversation, two University of Bath psychologists discuss their research into the rationales that seem to drive people into hoarding, and point to the many ways in which the behavior is an accentuation of, and a response to consumerism and materialism.
“Consider the way humans acquire things. Not only is accumulating more “stuff” than you need very common (think of collectors) but acquisition has come to be associated with high status, is much praised and can be very diverting,” the authors write. “Those with OCD who hoard often report having worries that their rubbish will contaminate or otherwise harm others… For others the experience of having nothing or losing everything seems to be important. The most obvious example can be found in refugees, who can go from being affluent to having only the clothes they stand up in.”
We are all hoarders but for some it spirals out of control (The Conversation, January 8, 2015)