Article

“Help, I Have Too Much Stuff!”: Extreme Possession Attachment and Professional Organizers

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Abstract

Compulsive hoarding is a serious problem for consumers, their families, and the communities in which they live. Consumers naturally form attachments to their possessions. However, at the extreme end of the attachment spectrum, these attachments can undermine a consumer's well-being. This study describes attachment styles exhibited by consumers who sought help from trained professional organizers (POs) to help them achieve their de-cluttering goals. Narrative case descriptions were compiled from 28 trained POs across the United States using an Internet survey with mostly open-ended questions. Interpretive analysis demonstrates how POs craft strategies to help clients let go of meaningful goods by considering the client's unique attachment profile and the temporal relevance of possessions to self. This study illustrates how POs help consumers improve their well-being by unraveling possession attachments that threaten consumers' quality of life.

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... In hoarding, decluttering is an intervention delivered alongside clinical help (Holmes et al., 2015). In non-clinical populations decluttering can be done single-handedly or with assistance of a professional organiser (Belk et al., 2007;Roster, 2015). Decluttering is a skill and can be learned. ...
... Possessions housed in homes have meanings and biographies that deny and decry their material nature and value. However, they also have a temporal nature (Roster, 2015) whereby the subjective relationships with possessions alters and transforms over time. We suggest that the meaning assigned to possessions and clutter and people's capacity to express themselves through their home environment, impinges on wellbeing through the ability to strike a balance between subjective and objective clutter, and to notice the point at which possessions convert from a treasured items to clutter, and act accordingly. ...
... Given the emphasis on subjectivity, this study highlights the importance of non-judgemental, person-centred approaches from professional organisers. Our results underline the importance of cultivating understanding of client values, and familiarising themselves with household culture and norms, before embarking on clutter reduction strategies (see Roster, 2015 for an excellent summary of person-possession disposal strategies). ...
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Article
Research on clutter in non-clinical populations is scarce. Existing research typically examines clutter’s negative effect on quality of life. Assertions from self-help books and lifestyle media that living with less clutter has beneficial health and psychological outcomes have received limited scientific attention. This study aimed to address a significant gap in the literature by exploring the associations between home self-extension variables (subjective clutter, objective clutter, home self-expression and declutter habit) and wellbeing (measured through the PERMA model). A general population sample of 1,111 adults (mostly women) participated in this cross-sectional correlational study. Correlation and regression results revealed that home self-extension variables, particularly subjective clutter and psychological home, account for substantial variance of wellbeing. The subjective-objective nature of clutter is discussed and a refined definition of clutter embracing its subjective nature is proposed. We conclude that home self-extension, and clutter in particular, are significant predictors of wellbeing.
... One participant described possessions as akin to physical extensions of identity. Similarly, an interpretative analysis of case descriptions compiled from 28 professional organizers suggested that possessions can reflect unique aspects of self in people with chronic disorganization (Roster 2015). The author proposed that people who hoard may develop "unrealistic expectations about the power of possessions to fortify self" (Roster 2015, p. 321). ...
... In addition to connections of possessions with individual's own sense of identity, qualitative research has also noted a propensity for people who hoard to form connections between their possessions and the identities of others. For many people with chronic disorganization, discarding possessions meant also relinquishing a sense of connection and responsibility to a significant other (Roster 2015). Cherrier et al. (2010) noted similar themes of responsibility and connection to others in their interviews with eight self-identified hoarders. ...
... Moreover, all of the POSI subscales were consistent with themes uncovered in prior qualitative research (Kings et al. 2018). While past research has found that possessions can become intertwined with self and significant others in HD (Cherrier et al. 2010;Kellett et al. 2010;Kings et al. 2018;Roster 2015), this is one of the first quantitative studies to examine the association between this facet of emotional attachment to possessions and hoarding behavior. As hypothesized, all scales in the final version of the measure were significantly associated with hoarding symptoms and beliefs. ...
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Article
This paper presents the development and validation of the Possessions as Others and Self Inventory (POSI). The POSI is a 23-item self-report measure that assesses the extent to which possessions are perceived to be extensions of self and significant others in hoarding disorder. In Study 1 (N = 246 community participants, M age = 33.70), exploratory factor analysis suggested the retention of a six-factor solution consistent with the notion that links between possessions, self, and others have numerous dimensions. Confirmatory factor analysis in Study 2 (N = 307 community participants, M age = 35.13) supported the consistency of the six-factor structure. Convergent validity was buttressed by strong correlations between POSI subscales and hoarding symptomology and beliefs. Following disposal of possessions, a perceived feeling of emptiness within the self appears to be particularly pertinent to hoarding behavior.
... In addition, if home is seen as a place where meaningful and purposeful activities can occur [41] and personal possessions within this space provide a sense of self-identity [40], Belk et al. [21] report that psychological wellbeing is enhanced. Thus, whilst Manzo [42] and Roster et al. [43] report that there is an adverse impact on the psychological health of the person who hoards because of excess items cluttering the home, there is an argument that these collected items create a therapeutic refuge within the home [44] and enable the individual to use objects in purposeful and meaningful activities [45]. ...
... The 2013 classification of hoarding as a unique condition gives possibilities for people who hoard to seek financial support through their health insurance for differing treatment approaches [44]. Proposals for differing approaches are suggested by Steketee and Frost [63], who recommend a better understanding of the individual's thoughts related to the acquisition and disposal of objects and a focus on interventions which encompass shared agreements and goals which aim to change the pattern of hoarding activity. ...
... Being engaged in chosen and meaningful activities is seen as beneficial to health [44], and for the person who hoards, there is a sense of value in the activity, with the acquired objects providing sentimental and/or instrumental purpose [54]. However, hoarding adversely affects a person's health because of the impact of collected items in the home environment and abilities of the person to engage safely in activities within the home. ...
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Article
Hoarding is often described as a medical disorder, defined by a persistent difficulty in discarding possessions and associated high levels of emotional distress when forced to part with these. This article will discuss how having a different view of hoarding, seeing hoarding as a daily occupation which provides value, purpose, and meaning and with a relationship to self-identity and life purpose, could offer alternate interventions to support an individual who hoards. The article will consider the components of hoarding activity and how these relate to health and wellbeing and doing, being, belonging, and becoming as understood by occupational therapists. The article will consider what occupational therapy, a profession which considers a person’s daily occupations, the things that occupy their time and which give meaning to their existence, could offer as an alternative to current hoarding interventions. Proposals for occupational therapy interventions will be suggested which would support occupational choice, support engagement in activities which have more positive outcomes on a person’s health, and seek to address barriers which limit engagement and occupational performance in activities within the person’s home environment.
... All such identities may, or may not, contribute to that person's self-concept. Defining the notion of identity is important, as there is preliminary evidence linking possessions with notions of personal self-concept as well as the identities of others (Roster, 2015). ...
... In one of the few studies to expand upon early conceptualizations of the link between possessions and the self-concept in HD, Roster (2015) analyzed 28 narrative cases provided by professional organizers. The 28 professional organizers were required to reflect on a past or current client that experienced trouble discarding possessions. ...
... However, there were several limitations to this study. Due to the narratives being captured from a third party (that being professional organizers), Roster's (2015) analysis was hindered by an inability to fully capture the participants' lived experience, to pursue specific topics of interest, or to understand the sample's clinical characteristics. Lived experience-by definition-can only be captured directly from the individual. ...
Article
Hoarding disorder is a disabling psychiatric disorder, characterized by the acquisition and retention of possessions to the point where it negatively impacts the individual's life, regardless of the value of the items. While treatments for hoarding disorder are promising, the chronic and egosyntonic nature of the disorder means that further development of the underlying theoretical model of hoarding is important in order to improve treatments. In particular, one aspect of hoarding disorder that has not received specific theoretical emphasis is the link between possessions and the self-concept, reflecting notions dating back to William James that what we own can come to define who we are. The purpose of the current review is to specifically examine literature pertinent to the link between possessions and the self-concept in hoarding disorder. The paper includes an examination of the various definitions of self, a review of literature relevant to self in hoarding, an integration of consumer psychology perspectives, and a discussion of treatment implications. The review highlights the need for more dedicated research, the development of an appropriate quantitative measure relevant to the link between possessions and the self-concept, and investigation into possible underlying factors for this link. Potential implications for treatment are highlighted.
... 27 For some, a squalid lifestyle may reflect an active rejection of societal standards, 2 and hence constitute a form of self-expression. 27,28 Several studies reported negative functional and health outcomes associated with squalor in older people. Excessive clutter can impede movement around the house, food preparation and ability to attend to one's hygiene. ...
... 19 Several reports found that interventions for squalor produced better results when clients developed trust in those who were offering assistance. 10,28,31,56,61,71,86 Mcdermott proposed that the care of older people living in squalor may be best addressed using a pluralistic ethical approach. 10 Strengths This review is the first to synthesise a systematic review of the literature with an ethical framework that includes overlapping conditions of squalor, specifically Diogenes syndrome, self-neglect and hoarding. ...
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Article
Background: Older people living in squalor present healthcare providers with a set of complex issues because squalor occurs alongside a variety of medical and psychiatric conditions, and older people living in squalor frequently decline intervention. Aim: This paper seeks to synthesise empirical evidence on squalor to inform ethical decision-making in the management of squalor using the bioethical framework of principlism. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted using Medline, Embase, PsycINFO and CINAHL databases for empirical research on squalor in older people. Given the limited evidence base to date, an interpretive approach to synthesis was used. Results: Sixty-seven articles that met the inclusion criteria were included in the review. Our synthesis of the research evidence indicates that: 1) older people living in squalor have a high prevalence of frontal executive dysfunction, medical comorbidities and premature deaths; 2) interventions are complex and require interagency involvement, with further evaluations needed to determine the effectiveness and potential harm of interventions; and, 3) older people living in squalor utilise more medical and social resources, and may negatively impact others around them. These results suggest that autonomous decision-making capacity should be determined rather than assumed. The harm associated with squalid living for the older person, and for others around them, means a non-interventional approach is likely to contravene the principles of non-maleficence, beneficence and justice. Conclusion: Adequate assessment of decision-making capacity is of particular importance. To be ethical, any intervention undertaken must balance benefits, harms, resource utilisation and impact on others. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Analyses of transcripts using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) revealed a variety of themes, importantly one of these was a 'sense of fusion reported in the relationship with hoarded items' (Kellett et al., 2010, p. 148). Similarly, Roster (2015) used within and cross-cases interpretative analysis (Corbin & Strauss, 2007) to examine 28 case reports provided by professional organizers. When examining the case reports, she noted a pattern of hyperattachment to possessions. ...
... Our findings reinforce and extend the importance of negative developmental influences as potential antecedents of hoarding behaviour (Kyrios et al., 2017). Similarly, they highlight the multi-dimensionality of possessions as extensions of self-concept (Greenberg, 1987;Kellett et al., 2010;Warren & Ostrom, 1988) and connections to the identities of others in HD (Cherrier & Ponnor, 2010;Roster, 2015). ...
Article
Objectives The aim of this study was to explore the importance of possessions as extensions of self‐concept and connections to significant others for people that hoard. Design A total of 10 participants were recruited through hoarding group treatment programmes. Participants photographed significant possessions in their home and discussed these in semi‐structured interviews. Results Analysis of transcripts using interpretative phenomenological analysis revealed three interrelated superordinate themes: (1) time travels with you; (2) possessions are me, they're a reflection of my life; and (3) they're linked: I look at them and I think of people. Challenging early life factors were the source of significant self‐uncertainty. Possessions were often touchstones of self‐confidence and reminders of both positive and negative relationships. Conclusions The results highlight the many dimensions of possessions’ links to both self‐concept and the identities of others, providing a distinct contribution to the hoarding literature. Implications for future research and treatment are discussed. Practitioner points • Problematic attachments to items may be formed as a compensatory response to challenging early life experiences. • Possessions may reflect self‐confidence, uniqueness, and be perceived to be physical extensions of who people that hoard are. • Belongings can be reminders of interpersonal relationships for people that hoard.
... One of the more common reasons offered by the respondents for keeping a product for later use (mentioned nine times) was their emotional attachment to the product and their inner satisfaction, which supports Roster's conclusions (Roster, 2015). Memories and past events linked to the product reflected an emotional attachment and frequently inspired a desire to keep the product for later use. ...
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Article
Help, I need to get rid of it! In suburban areas of Guatemala City, inhabitants dispose of their household waste by burning it on their private property. Garbage collection coverage in the capital is inadequate, with only 85% of the generated waste being collected and collection rates in suburban areas lag far behind. This study examines the critical events, decisions and emotions linked with the disposition of household items of impoverished consumers living in the suburban area of Cumbre de San Nicolás near Guatemala City. We emphasize the determinants of their behavior, attitudes, and perceptions regarding their daily disposal routines of household possessions. The selected method to describe the poor consumers' experience in the disposition process of their household possessions is that of existential phenomenology. This analysis of 10 in-depth, semi-structured, qualitative interviews provides new insights into residents' daily disposal routines, social life, and traditions. Results show that religion, social norms, and peoples' relationships are essential for the well-being of those in suburban areas. Moreover, they significantly affect peoples' rationales and reflections on their disposal behavior and are promising factors for controlling suburban resource management of waste. This study's respondents showed a high level of awareness that on-site burning of household waste negatively affects human health and the environment. On the individual level, emotions influence the way of how people dispose of their personal belongings. Based on this study's results, we propose an intervention framework tailored to suburban impoverished citizens.
... An overaccumulation of items may impede an individual's well-being and connection with their environment because of the stress and negative stigma associated with excessive possessions Roster et al., 2016). Roster (2001;2015) reported that people perceive their possessions as an extension of their identity. Subsequent investigations explored whether an overabundance of possessions, termed clutter, had a negative influence on one's well-being (e.g., Roster et al, 2016). ...
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Article
Office clutter might significantly impact productivity, yet no study examined workers differences across upper and lower employee status. The present study surveyed 202 U.S. on-site workers on work-related variables, including office clutter. Job classifications were aggregated, creating two groups: upper- and lower-level employees. A significant difference in office clutter impacted worker-levels: upper-level workers compared to lowerlevel workers had higher office clutter scores. Exploratory factor analysis created a two-factor solution (explaining 62.6% of the common variance): satisfaction/pleasure from one’s work and risk for work-related burnout/tension. There was a significant difference in office clutter perception: upper-level workers were significantly more likely to report clutter and being at risk for burnout/tension than lower-level workers. Office clutter significantly negatively predicted satisfaction with one’s job and positively related with risk for work-related burnout. Frequently reported office clutter items (in order of frequency) were paper, trash (e.g., used coffee cups), and office supplies.
... (memories, craftsmanship), an orientation towards the future (uncertain future, responsibility towards environment) and a day-to-day adventure (joy of finding and keeping objects). Kellett et al. (2010) using interpretative phenomenological analysis found that those with hoarding expressed a 'sense of fusion in the relationship with hoarded items '. Roster (2015) examined case reports of people with hoarding provided by professional organisers using interpretive analysis and noted a pattern of hyper-attachment to possessions as they evoked good memories and also because they felt a sense of responsibility to the possessions. This strong emotional attachment leads to their inability to discard th ...
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Article
Research studies have revealed that people with hoarding typically collect and keep items due to their aesthetic appeal, utility and strong emotional attachment to the items resulting in clutter and limiting living spaces. This study aims to explore the experiences of individuals with hoarding disorder to understand and describe—the patterns and reasons for hoarding, experiences with decluttering and the impact of hoarding disorder on significant others and society in the context of a multi‐ethnic urban Asian country. A total of 12 participants with hoarding disorder were recruited and interviewed using a simple semi‐structured interview guide designed for the study. The resulting transcribed interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. The mean age of the participants was 56.7 years (SD = 14.5). Nine super‐ordinate and discrete but interconnecting themes emerged from the qualitative interviews: types of hoarded items, sources of hoarded items, ways of storing/arranging hoarded items, help‐seeking/treatment contact, reasons for hoarding, experiences with decluttering, impact upon family, community and self, restricting hoarding behaviours and insight. Key themes identified in the study are consistent with the literature on studies on hoarding which have been done in other populations. Hoarding in the community has serious consequences for individuals with hoarding disorder and others living in the community, which is compounded by the lack of insight among these individuals. There is a pressing need to increase public awareness and recognition of hoarding behaviours to aid efforts in bringing timely and appropriate services to the affected individuals.
... Clutter and storage have become central in consumer life and have paved the way for new services and storage systems -a fast-growing market ready to provide solutions. Television programs, magazines, and handbooks specializing in the problems of home storage teach people how best to organize, categorize, sort, and discard their belongings (Belk et al., 2007;Roster, 2015;Löfgren, 2017). ...
... Similar to anthropomorphism, the use of possessions as self-extensions is a major function of treasured possessions for most people and has also been reported in several qualitative studies with HD participants (Kellett et al., 2010;Kings, Knight, & Moulding, 2018;Roster, 2015). The only quantitative study in this area on HD was conducted by Dozier, Taylor, Castriotta, Mayes, and Ayers (2017). ...
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Article
Background and aims: The appetitive aspects of hoarding disorder, such as the compulsive acquisition and saving of objects, are akin to other behavioral addictions. Underpinning these appetitive features is the strong emotional and sentimental attachments that hoarding sufferers have for their possessions. Different facets of object attachment have been identified including anthropomorphism, insecure object attachment, possessions as an extension of identity, possessions as a repository of autobiographical memories, and possessions as a source of comfort and safety. The aim of this study was to examine the association between each of these facets and hoarding symptoms independent of non-sentimental hoarding beliefs, depression, and anxiety. Methods: Participants were 532 individuals recruited via Turkprime who completed online self-report questionnaires on hoarding symptoms, hoarding beliefs, depression, anxiety, and the facets of object attachment. Pearson's correlations and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted. Results: The results showed that all facets of object attachment were positively correlated with hoarding symptoms. After accounting for other non-sentimental hoarding beliefs, depression, and anxiety, three facets made significant unique contributions to hoarding symptoms: insecure object attachment, anthropomorphism, and possessions as a repository of autobiographical memories. Discussion and conclusions: Based on these findings, we propose a compensatory model to explain how the different facets of object attachment may be implicated in hoarding. Further research into ways of reducing anthropomorphism, insecure object attachment, and possessions as memories are warranted.
... Decisional procrastination is defined as a maladaptive tendency to postpone decisions when faced with conflicts or choices (Ferrari and Dovidio 2001;Tibbett and Ferrari 2015). Because disposal decisions can be stressful, especially for individuals who form close attachments to their possessions (Roster 2015), indecisives may avoid disposition tasks because they are afraid of making the wrong decision or regretting their actions later. On the other hand, individuals who chronically put off organizing and purging tasks may find that their failure to do has created a situation so out of control that they cannot bear the time and effort needed to start the process. ...
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Article
Abstract We explored how two types of procrastination (indecision and behavioral), contribute to problems with clutter across three adult U.S. samples differing as generational cohorts. An online survey was administered to college students (mean age = 21) and younger adults recruited using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk; mean age = 31), plus older adults recruited with help from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (mean age = 54) (http://challenging disorganization.org). Hierarchical linear regression revealed that behavioral procrastination contributed significantly to an increasingly larger percentage of explained variance in clutter problems across the generational cohorts in a series of separate analyses. The addition of indecision as a variable led to a significant incremental increase in explained variance for the younger and older adult samples, but not for the student sample. Clutter problems led to a significant decrease in satisfaction with life among older adults. Findings suggest that general procrastination tendencies may enable a lifelong pattern of responses to one’s environment that become increasingly maladaptive throughout the life cycle - simultaneously delaying disposal decisions.
... Decisional procrastination is defined as a maladaptive tendency to postpone decisions when faced with conflicts or choices (Ferrari and Dovidio 2001;Tibbett and Ferrari 2015). Because disposal decisions can be stressful, especially for individuals who form close attachments to their possessions (Roster 2015), indecisives may avoid disposition tasks because they are afraid of making the wrong decision or regretting their actions later. On the other hand, individuals who chronically put off organizing and purging tasks may find that their failure to do has created a situation so out of control that they cannot bear the time and effort needed to start the process. ...
Full-text available
Article
We explored how two types of procrastination (indecision and behavioral), contribute to problems with clutter across three adult U.S. samples differing as generational cohorts. An online survey was administered to college students (mean age = 21) and younger adults recruited using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk; mean age = 31), plus older adults recruited with help from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (mean age = 54) (http://challengingdisorganization.org). Hierarchical linear regression revealed that behavioral procrastination contributed significantly to an increasingly larger percentage of explained variance in clutter problems across the generational cohorts in a series of separate analyses. The addition of indecision as a variable led to a significant incremental increase in explained variance for the younger and older adult samples, but not for the student sample. Clutter problems led to a significant decrease in satisfaction with life among older adults. Findings suggest that general procrastination tendencies may enable a lifelong pattern of responses to one’s environment that become increasingly maladaptive throughout the life cycle - simultaneously delaying disposal decisions.
... Occupational therapists are regulated healthcare professional who help clients with physical impairments manage home environments, while professional organizers, although not healthcare professionals, help clients manage the physical and emotional implications of clutter and disorganization. Roster (2014), following an interpretive analysis of client-organizer narratives, described a number of strategies used by professional organizers to help clients with strong possession attachments let go of possessions and reduce clutter, such as disposition rituals, spatial organization strategies, and visualization techniques. A greater understanding of the undermining impact of clutter on positive dimensions of home could suggest a number of other useful strategies for the work of professional organizers. ...
... Occupational therapists are regulated healthcare professional who help clients with physical impairments manage home environments, while professional organizers, although not healthcare professionals, help clients manage the physical and emotional implications of clutter and disorganization. Roster (2014), following an interpretive analysis of client-organizer narratives, described a number of strategies used by professional organizers to help clients with strong possession attachments let go of possessions and reduce clutter, such as disposition rituals, spatial organization strategies, and visualization techniques. A greater understanding of the undermining impact of clutter on positive dimensions of home could suggest a number of other useful strategies for the work of professional organizers. ...
Article
This research investigates a “dark side of home,” created when the experiential quality of home is compromised by ‘clutter,’ defined as an overabundance of possessions that collectively create chaotic and disorderly living spaces. Based on relationships among constructs largely developed by phenomenologists, we conceptualize psychological home as a reflection of one’s need to identify self with a physical environment. Clutter was proposed as an antagonist to the normally positive benefits and consequences of home for subjective well-being. An online survey was conducted with a population of U.S. and Canadian adults. A structural equation model was used to test hypotheses. Findings reveal that place attachment and self-extension tendencies toward possessions positively contribute to psychological home. Clutter had a negative impact on psychological home and subjective well-being. These findings contribute to a broader understanding of how meanings of home are both cultivated and undermined by individuals’ place-making efforts.
... As a consequence, it can be expected that also the elderly missing their front teeth may be inclined to attach great importance to material things. Such a tendency, however, may also be harmful for them -and for older consumers, in general -as it may lead, for instance, to excessively hoard possessions; and this, in turn, may cause health concerns, threatening the consumers' wellbeing (LaSalle-Ricci et al. 2006;Roster 2014). ...
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This study investigates whether a visible signal of physical decay – specifically, the lack of front teeth – may represent an antecedent of a deterioration of the elderly consumers' buying behaviour. To this end, the study compares the purchase decision-making process, shopping motivations, emotional states arising from the shopping experience, and materialistic tendency of elderly consumers missing their front teeth with those of elderly consumers who do not display this lack. Findings reveal that the former consumers are likely to engage in unplanned purchases, pursue erratic goals, experience high levels of arousal when shopping, and are more materialist than the latter ones. Furthermore, the same consumers reported that the quality and quantity of their consumptions decreased since they lost their front teeth. Such results derive from the negative social perception of physical deterioration and call for marketing approaches aimed at improving these consumers' quality of life.
Chapter
Concerns and processes regarding one’s identity and “self” are arguably a central component of existential concerns within humankind. This chapter briefly introduces self-related constructs before looking at how they have been applied to specific domains of psychopathology in recent empirical and theoretical works. First, it has been argued that self-construct is a central concern driving obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), with those with obsessions having an ambivalent or feared view of self. Second, within the OCD-related disorder of hoarding disorder, it has been argued that perceptions of self and others intertwined with the meaning of objects contribute to the incredible challenge that those with the disorder have in discarding objects. Finally, within depression and eating disorders, the focus has recently been shone on social identity processes, whereby one’s sense of self is dynamic and influenced by one’s contemporaneous self-categorisation as a group member. In depression, a loss of social identity has been argued to trigger pathology, whereas in eating disorders, it has been argued that social identification with particular groups may increase the risk of pathology.KeywordsSelfSocial identityObsessive-compulsive disorderHoardingDepressionEating disorders
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In their classic 1989 consumer-research paper, Belk, Wallendorf, and Sherry illustrated how the sacred can be seen in the consumption of everyday products and services. We extend their work by arguing that sacredness is intimately connected with the human experience of strong positive feelings and that the study of everyday sacredness can contribute to our understanding of such feelings. As marketing influence involves enhancing strong positive feelings in customers, we propose that Belk et al.’s twelve properties of the sacred can be used as a framework for guiding marketing influence, and we introduce a new thirteenth property. We illustrate guidance for marketing influence with detailed descriptions of a sacred brand and a success in social marketing. We discuss the implications of these sacredness-based influence techniques for facilitating special, valuable, and powerful customer-brand relationships as well as for accomplishing social change.
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Most consumers live surrounded by physical goods, some of which are used often and others that are largely neglected. In this article, we introduce the concept of a “possession portfolio” which we define as an individual’s holistic sense (vs. an objective listing) of the totality of the physical goods they own at a given point in time. We propose that there is an optimal possession portfolio for each individual where they feel they have achieved balance between the benefits of retaining the “right” number and type of possessions without incurring the downsides of disposing of too many possessions. In doing so, we highlight recent research relevant to the value assessment process that underlies the retention and disposition decisions made when individuals attempt to optimize their possession portfolio.
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Excessive or maladaptive object attachment is the defining feature of Hoarding Disorder (HD) and the acquisition process within Compulsive Buying-Shopping Disorder (CBSD). In recent years, the relationship of object attachment within HD and CBSD to individual’s self-concept has become the focus of direct research. On the basis of this literature, it seems that an under-developed, ambivalent, or discrepant self-concept could be a vulnerability for dysfunctional object attachment behavior. Further, the importance of objects in buttressing and extending self-concept, both individually and in relationship to others, appears to be a central function underlying pathological object attachment. An important future direction of research is whether directly addressing self-concept can serve as the next advancement for psychological treatments for these debilitating disorders.
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It is well established that individuals have strong attachment to many possessions, but they cannot keep all these possessions forever. Disposition has received relatively limited attention in the literature though it is clear that disposition is significantly influenced by attachment. We review the burgeoning number of studies examining how possession attachment influences disposition. Attachment is influential at each stage of the disposition process, from the decision to stop using an object, the decision to dispose of an object, and the choice of disposal type. We end with a call for further research on disposal, particularly that which considers the role of object attachment at earlier stages of the disposition process.
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In the poverty‐ridden settings in neo‐liberal India, we explore how subsistence consumers construct their quality‐of‐life (QOL). Drawing on the concepts of chronotope and futurization, we posit two additional dimensions of subsistence consumers’ construction of QOL viz. chronotopefication and futurization. Our findings suggest that chronotopefication and futurization are defining processes of subsistence consumers’ construction of QOL perceptions; their sacrifices, efforts, and costs, however painful they may be, would be perceived as QOL enhancing from the prism of chronotopefication and futurization; and subsistence consumers chronotopize and futurize QOL for the whole extended household within the inter‐generational temporal space by focusing on stable input‐outcome pathways. Based on the evidence, we propose QOL as chronotopefication and futurization framework (QOL‐CFF). The framework suggests that subsistence consumers construct QOL as chronotope building, futurized and having a symbolic effect. They consider current agonies as a foundation for future building. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Hoarding disorder (HD) is a severe and persistent mental illness characterized by extreme difficulty parting with possessions and considerable clutter that can result in dangerous living conditions. HD poses a considerable public health burden; however, treatment for HD remains relatively limited, as many individuals do not respond to treatment and/or do not maintain treatment gains, suggesting there are important factors not being adequately addressed. In particular, one area that is not well-understood nor well-integrated into cognitive behavioral models is the pathological attachment individuals with HD hold to their possessions. The current review delineates existing work regarding attachment in HD and integrates findings regarding attachment into existing cognitive behavioral models of HD. We use attachment theory as a foundation by which to examine HD and better understand the dysfunctional relationships seen in those who hoard. We propose that both maladaptive cognitions and dysfunctional attachments to people and possessions jointly underlie saving behaviors characteristic of the disorder. The hypotheses put forth in this theory may help to advance our knowledge of HD, identify potential factors that can be targeted in intervention and prevention efforts, and provide important future directions for empirical work.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of emotional brand attachment in consumers’ evaluation of new products that represent technological innovation. Design/methodology/approach A quantitative study was conducted using survey data from a nationally representative probability sample of US consumers ( n = 624) to understand the role of emotional brand attachment in the context of consumers’ evaluation of really new products (RNPs). A framework was developed and tested using structural equation modeling that included emotional brand attachment, brand trust, product incongruity, product familiarity, perceived risk, willingness to try, product evaluation and word-of-mouth intentions. Findings The results support the role of emotional brand attachment in the diffusion of RNPs. Specifically, results indicated that increased brand attachment reduces consumers’ perceived risk associated with a RNP and increases brand trust. Both constructs played a key role in shaping willingness to try the innovation, word-of-mouth intentions and product evaluation. Findings of this paper add explanatory power to demand-prediction models that more accurately describe the mechanism of the innovation adoption process. For marketing managers, the results emphasize the importance of consumer–brand emotional connections. Research limitations/implications The paper used a cross-sectional design; it would be interesting to use a longitudinal design to examine if the role of emotional brand attachment changes over time and how the changes might impact consumers’ perceptions and behaviors in the context of RNPs. Originality/value This is the first paper to explore the role of emotional brand attachment in the context of RNPs and consumers’ potential behavioral outcomes.
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This chapter is concerned with unfolding a theoretical perspective on (dis)ordering that is grounded in Niklas Luhmann’s sociology of organizations. Luhmann conceptualizes organizational phenomena as interconnected communicative events of ordering (i.e., fixing contingencies through decisions) and disordering (i.e., the inevitable opening up of new contingencies through decisions). We showcase the value of the Luhmannian perspective by employing it to study the phenomenon of project-based organizations (PBOs) in which the interplay of ordering and disordering is particularly precarious. Through a comparative analysis of two PBOs (one from film production, one from IT consulting), we show that the interconnectivity of communicative events tends to be continuously disrupted in PBOs on the cross-project level. Accordingly, from a Luhmannian viewpoint, the PBO itself can be understood as a rather rudimentary organizational phenomenon that tends to “outlive” its own projects which, in turn, remain environmental to the PBO. These theoretical insights bring forth implications for cross-project learning as well as for our understanding of PBOs as an organizational form. While PBOs are often celebrated as an extremely flexible form of organizing, they also exhibit high degrees of inflexibility, that is, a tendency of ordering without disordering.
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The Meaning of Things explores the meanings of household possessions for three generation families in the Chicago area, and the place of materialism in American culture. Now regarded as a keystone in material culture studies, Halton's first book is based on his dissertation and coauthored with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. First published by Cambridge University Press in 1981, it has been translated into German, Italian, Japanese, and Hungarian. The Meaning of Things is a study of the significance of material possessions in contemporary urban life, and of the ways people carve meaning out of their domestic environment. Drawing on a survey of eighty families in Chicago who were interviewed on the subject of their feelings about common household objects, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Eugene Rochberg-Halton provide a unique perspective on materialism, American culture, and the self. They begin by reviewing what social scientists and philosophers have said about the transactions between people and things. In the model of 'personhood' that the authors develop, goal-directed action and the cultivation of meaning through signs assume central importance. They then relate theoretical issues to the results of their survey. An important finding is the distinction between objects valued for action and those valued for contemplation. The authors compare families who have warm emotional attachments to their homes with those in which a common set of positive meanings is lacking, and interpret the different patterns of involvement. They then trace the cultivation of meaning in case studies of four families. Finally, the authors address what they describe as the current crisis of environmental and material exploitation, and suggest that human capacities for the creation and redirection of meaning offer the only hope for survival. A wide range of scholars - urban and family sociologists, clinical, developmental and environmental psychologists, cultural anthropologists and philosophers, and many general readers - will find this book stimulating and compelling. Translations: Il significato degli oggetti. Italian translation. Rome: Edizione Kappa, 1986. Der Sinn der Dinge. German translation. Munich: Psychologie Verlags Union, 1989. Japanese translation 2007. Targyaink tukreben. Hungarian translation, 2011.
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This article conceptualises transformative service research and encourages service researchers to engage in research activities that promote human well-being. The authors advance a new research agenda that, unlike traditional service research, treats outcomes related to consumer well-being, including quality of life issues, as important, managerially relevant, and worthy of study. Both (i) services/service systems that already possess transformational qualities through their inherent design and are intended to enhance well-being (but in actuality may not do so) and (ii) other services/service systems that do not focus on transformational qualities but could enhance or unintentionally hurt well-being are worthy of additional research and study. Although transformative service research may be challenging, we argue that both consumers and the organizations that serve them may benefit from research that examines how services can and do improve or reduce the welfare of individuals, communities, nations, and the global ecosystem.
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This article examines a special category of objects, things that people should not give or sell, but keep from generation to generation within the close confines of a group—inalienable wealth. Previous findings about inalienable wealth are restricted to studies of indigenous cultures by anthropologists. We explore whether and how objects pass from alienable to inalienable status across generations of middle‐class North American families. Our research distinguishes families’ inalienable wealth from individuals’ cherished possessions and keepsakes in terms of the role of caretakers, the behavioral dynamics of guardianship, temporal orientation, shared significance, and distinctive semiotic qualities.
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Most empirical work on product symbolism has paid relatively little attention to how products are used by consumers in everyday social life. This paper argues that the subjective experience imparted by the consumption of many products substantially contributes to the consumer's structuring of social reality, self-concept, and behavior. Moreover, the consumer often relies upon the social meanings inherent in products as a guide to the performance of social roles, especially when role demands are novel. While marketing theory traditionally views products as post hoc responses to underlying needs, the focus here is on conditions under which products serve as a priori stimuli to behavior. By integrating concepts adapted from symbolic interactionism, this approach stresses the importance of product symbolism as a mediator of self-definition and role performance.
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The extended self was proposed in 1988. Since it was formulated, many technological changes have dramatically affected the way we consume, present ourselves, and communicate. This conceptual update seeks to revitalize the concept, incorporate the impacts of digitization, and provide an understanding of consumer sense of self in today’s technological environment. It is necessarily a work in progress, for the digital environment and our behavior within it continue to evolve. But some important changes are already clear. Five changes with digital consumption are considered that impact the nature of self and the nature of possessions. Needed modifications and additions to the extended self are outlined, and directions for future research are suggested. The digital world opens a host of new means for self-extension, using many new consumption objects to reach a vastly broader audience. Even though this calls for certain reformulations, the basic concept of the extended self remains vital.
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We explore the meaning and histories of favorite objects in two cultures using surveys and photographs. Favorite object attachment is differentiated from the possessiveness component of materialism and from attachment to other people. Meanings of favorite objects derive more from personal memories in the U.S. and from social status in Niger than from object characteristics. Since favorite objects serve as storehouses of personal meanings, gender, age, and culture reflect differences in object selected as well as reasons for selection. In the U.S., photographs show greater proximity to objects that are symbols of others or experiences than to objects enjoyed for their own attributes.
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Almost from its inception, the emotional intelligence (EI) construct has been an elusive one. After nearly 2 decades of research, there still appears to be little consensus over how EI should be conceptualized or assessed and the efficacy of practical applications in real life settings. This paper aims at providing a snapshot of the state-of-the-art in research involving this newly minted construct. Specifically, in separate sections of this article, we set out to distinguish what is known from what is unknown in relation to three paramount concerns of EI research, i.e., conceptualization, assessment, and applications. In each section, we start by discussing assertions that may be made with some degree of confidence, elucidating what are essentially sources of consensus concerning EI. We move then to discuss sources of controversy; those things for which there is less agreement among EI researchers. We hope that this "straight talk" about the current status of EI research will provide a platform for new research in both basic and applied domains.
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Of recent interest in consumer behavior research is the consumer's use of owned possessions to develop and maintain self-concept. This study presents a measure of a central concept in this area–attachment. A conceptual definition of the construct is proposed and is related to social-cognitive theories of the self. The role of attachment in the relationship between people and possessions is discussed. Evidence is presented for the reliability and predictive validity of a simple measure of attachment and for the discriminant validity of the construct. Relationships between attachment and other important consumer behavior constructs are explored.
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Over the last several decades, sociologists have investigated the public's increasing concern about the environment, but they have had little success explaining attitudes toward the environment or the adoption of pro-environment behaviors like recycling. We examine the role of social context in the link between individual attitudes about the environment and recycling behavior by comparing communities that vary in their access to recycling programs. Results show that people with access to a structured recycling program have much higher levels of recycling than do people lacking such access. Furthermore, individual attitudes toward the environment affect recycling behavior only in the community with easy access to a structured recycling program. Individual concern about the environment enhances the effect of the recycling program, but does not overcome the barriers presented by lack of access.
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Accumulation of possessions is a common phenomenon in an affluent society such as the United States. People increasingly share a common ideology that more is better, thus legitimizing acquiring ever more stuff. The dramatic accumulation of possessions and the limitation of organization skills among individuals create frustration and panic in managing time and space, resulting in home clutter and chaos. In this study, we collaborated with a professional organizer in order to explore how such organizers interact with their clients and implement their three-stage organizing system - "See it, Map it, Do it" in helping their clients in a process that moves from identifying to solving the problem of clutter and disorganization in their homes. We use a video ethnographic approach and draw on depth interviews with professional organizers and their past and current clients as well as observations in informants' homes. The research was conducted in order to visualize the issues in disorganization and frustrations of home clutter and chaos as well as the methods and results of the organizers. The meanings of clutter were explored by studying the life stories of our informants and observing the services in our informants' home. Finally, the deep meanings of clutter and the notion of dirty as well as the attachment of possessions are explored.
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The narrative survey is a qualitative research strategy which offers a method for surveying large populations. While the research community relies on several types of qualitative approaches as alternative research responses to the quantitative types, the survey strategy has been the exclusive domain of positivistic-quantitative re-search. However, if we seek qualitative understandings in relation to many people, each finding expression as a unique narrative within the survey context, we need to develop a narrative-constructivist alternative to the traditional survey. Narrative sur-vey is such a research strategy which follows the narrative-constructivist approach, uses mainly narrative methods of data collection and analysis, and produces a final narrative report. In this aritcle I describe the narrative survey, bring an example of a study project, and compare it to other research strategies of a similar nature: collective case study, case survey and meta-ethnography, and the "conventional" quantitative survey. Surveys are a widely accepted method of research in academia and scholar-ship as well as in the general public arena (Cohen & Manion, 1989; Fowler, 1988; Hoinville & Jowell, 1977). However, to date, the survey strategy has been the almost exclusive domain of quantitative researchers. Guba and Lincoln (1998) suggest a distinction between the use of the term "qualitative" as a description of types of methods, and its use in con-noting a research paradigm. From their perspective, "both qualitative and quantitative methods may be used appropriately with any research paradigm.
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Compulsive hoarding has emerged as a treatment refractory and impairing psychological disorder. Although promising research over the past decade has substantially furthered an understanding of hoarding, the etiology, diagnostic status, and associated features of this phenomenon are not yet completely understood. This article reviews current research on hoarding, including comorbidity and diagnostic issues, theoretical models, and treatment approaches. A cognitive–behavioral model of compulsive hoarding (R. O. Frost and G. Steketee, 1998) is presented, including the proposed information-processing deficits, beliefs and cognitions, and excessive emotional attachment to possessions. In addition, existing treatment approaches that target the cognitive and behavioral components of acquisition, difficulty organizing, and avoidance of discarding are described. Future directions for compulsive hoarding research are suggested to improve diagnostic clarity, refine therapeutic techniques, and enhance treatment response.
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Based on phenomenological interviews with consumers who voluntarily engaged in the process of dispossession, the study develops an emerging processual theory of identity, which emphasizes four main stages: sensitization, separation, socialization, and striving. Each phase corresponds to evolving consumers' perceptions of the world and positioning of the self, and characterizes distinct meanings and experiences of consumption. Furthermore, our analysis shows that, although there is no possible self-making outside of consumer culture, its normative background is not fixed, but rather fluid, and can be deconstructed when it no longer operates within the realm of consumers' world-view. Yes Yes
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Our study contributes to understanding the role of material culture in families. Findings from a longitudinal case study extend Kopytoff's theory of singularization by explaining what occurs between the singularization of a focal object and its recommodification. We uncover processes that move an already singularized object in and out of a network of practices, objects, and spaces; identify forces that constrain and empower a singularized object's agency within that network; and demonstrate network transformations that result from the focal object's movement. This extension explains some paradoxical findings in consumer research: how objects are granted agency even while displaced, when irreplaceable objects can be replaced, and why families sometimes displace central identity practices. (c) 2009 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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Compulsive hoarding is a serious health problem for the sufferers, their families, and the community at large. It appears to be highly prevalent and to run in families. However, this familiality could be due to genetic or environmental factors. This study examined the prevalence and heritability of compulsive hoarding in a large sample of twins. A total of 5,022 twins completed a validated measure of compulsive hoarding. The prevalence of severe hoarding was determined using empirically derived cutoffs. Genetic and environmental influences on compulsive hoarding were estimated using liability threshold models, and maximum-likelihood univariate model-fitting analyses were employed to decompose the variance in the liability to compulsive hoarding into additive genetic and shared and nonshared environmental factors (female twins only; N=4,355). A total of 2.3% of twins met criteria for caseness, with significantly higher rates observed for male (4.1%) than for female (2.1%) twins. Model-fitting analyses in female twins showed that genetic factors accounted for approximately 50% of the variance in compulsive hoarding, with nonshared environmental factors and measurement error accounting for the other half. Compulsive hoarding is highly prevalent and heritable, at least in women, with nonshared environmental factors also likely to play an important role.
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This article explores precipitating events, emotions, and decisions associated with older consumers' disposition of special possessions. Findings are based on analyses of semistructured interviews with 80 older consumers, complemented by depth interviews with seven informants. Cherished possessions and their disposition play a significant role in older consumers' reminiscence and life review. Concerns about disposition of special possessions involve strong and ambivalent emotions. Older consumers voice concern over avoiding intrafamilial conflict, reducing uncertainty, and exercising control over the future life of special possessions. We emphasize the storied nature of the meanings consumers attach to their cherished possessions and the way in which these storied meanings are bundled with life review and disposition concerns. Many older consumers attempt to control meanings transferred with cherished possessions. They seek to pass on personal and familial legacies, achieve symbolic immortality, insure a good home for special objects, and/or influence the future lives of others. We show that there is a porous boundary between ownership and disposition of cherished possessions. And to our knowledge this is the first research to identify tactics and heuristics employed to select recipients for special possessions, time transfers, and effect these transfers. We suggest that future research could explore individual differences in disposition behaviors, the use of possessions by older consumers as external mnemonic props, disposition decision theory, cultural differences in disposition behaviors, or the role of special possessions in the creation of familial legacies.
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Material possession attachment, a property of the relationship between a specific person and a specific object of possession, reflects the extent of “me-ness” associated with that possession. The two Q-methodological studies reported here investigated the nature of this me-ness (and “not me-ness”). Study 1 explores different types of attachment and how these types portray various facets of a person's life story (i.e., identity). It shows how strong versus weak attachment, affiliation and/or autonomy seeking, and past, present, or future temporal orientation combine to form qualitatively distinct types of psychological significance. Study 2 begins development of a nomological network encompassing attachment by showing how mode of gift receipt (self-gift vs. interpersonal gift), as an antecedent, influences attachment type. Study 2 also examines aspects of successful and unsuccessful gifts. Both studies demonstrate that unidimensional affect fails to adequately describe or explain attachment. Together, the two studies suggest a more parsimonious way to represent person-possession relationships than has been offered in previous studies. Moreover, the findings help delineate the boundaries of attachment (e.g., What does it mean to say a possession is “not me”?).
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Consumers own objects for the value they provide. This article argues that the value of possessions resides in their meanings and further makes a distinction between the public and private meanings of possessions. The nature of these meanings is elaborated, and three studies are described that assess the public and private meanings of the possessions consumers value most. Similarities and differences between the two sorts of meaning are examined, and implications of meaning for the understanding of consumer behavior are discussed. Copyright 1994 by the University of Chicago.
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Two processes at work in contemporary society are the secularization of religion and the sacralization of the secular. Consumer behavior shapes and reflects these processes. For many, consumption has become a vehicle for experiencing the sacred. This article explores the ritual substratum of consumption and describes properties and manifestations of the sacred inherent in consumer behavior. Similarly, the processes by which consumers sacralize and desacralize dimensions of their experience are described. The naturalistic inquiry approach driving the insights in this article is advanced as a corrective to a premature narrowing of focus in consumer research. Copyright 1989 by the University of Chicago.
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Our possessions are a major contributor to and reflection of our identities. A variety of evidence is presented supporting this simple and compelling premise. Related streams of research are identified and drawn upon in developing this concept and implications are derived for consumer behavior. Because the construct of extended self involves consumer behavior rather than buyer behavior, it appears to be a much richer construct than previous formulations positing a relationship between self-concept and consumer brand choice.
Book
The authors introduce four models: holistic-content reading; holistic-form reading; categorical-content reading; and categorical-form reading. They present two complete narratives so that readers can compare the authors' interpretations against the actual text as well as analyze the stories on their own. The subsequent chapters provide readings, interpretations and analyses of the narrative data from the models.
Article
This paper describes a collaborative art/research project that afforded individuals who have difficulty letting go of objects the opportunity to give up meaningful possessions so that objects could take on new meanings, immortalized in the art form, such as photographic exhibitions, sculptures, and collages. Written stories accompanying the donation of these objects revealed these objects' strong attachments to self. Findings reveal that the psychological and emotional dispossession of objects was aided by two interrelated sub-processes: (1) reconciling alienable/inalienable properties of possessions through disposition practices and (2) negotiating self-identity incongruities in relation to material possession attachments. Art became a catalyst for a positive dispossession experience, which in turn promoted consumer's goals toward an unextended self. Instead of becoming de-constituted, alienable rubbish, or re-commoditized objects in material markets, these possessions were reconstituted by undergoing a meaning transformation that elevated their cultural status in the material system.
Article
This article addresses the issue of disposability in modern Anglo-American society, through a historical and archaeological perspective of late 19th- and 20th-century practices surrounding waste. Starting from what is identified as a dilemma in disposability, caught between two moral systems of the household- thrift and hygiene - this article discusses these systems in terms of waste and the activities surrounding it. Through examination of various practices and drawing on several examples and case studies, it is argued that the issue of disposability is intimately linked to consumption, specifically through the problem of inalienability and its effect on dispossession or the shedding off of domestic and personal objects.
Article
Presents a model of service encounter satisfaction offering conceptual and pragmatic advantages over the dominant disconfirmation paradigm. Expectations are compared with performance, at three separate stages, which directly combine into one overall consumer service encounter judgment. Offers service practitioners increased insight into understanding consumers' satisfaction processes.
Article
Reports on a study looking at dimensions of service provider performance that influence immediate emotional responses to service encounters, based on 914 service encounters. Identifies five service-provider dimensions that are significant predictors of emotional response to services. Finds that different service-provider dimensions influence positive as compared with negative emotional responses and that temporal duration and spatial intimacy of the encounter affect both the reported levels and relative importance of these service-provider dimensions to emotional responses.
Article
Purpose This study seeks to examine whether higher emotional intelligence displayed by service providers leads to greater customer satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach A community sample of 150 participants viewed video clips depicting a service provider displaying three different levels of emotional intelligence in high or low service difficulty transactions. Findings Higher emotional intelligence displayed by the service provider led to greater reported satisfaction with the service transaction. Further, there was an interaction between emotional intelligence of the service provider and transaction difficulty. In the low transaction difficulty condition there was progressively more satisfaction at each higher level of emotional intelligence of the service provider. In the high transaction difficulty condition, there was low satisfaction in the low service provider emotional intelligence condition, but no significant difference in satisfaction between the high and medium levels of service provider emotional intelligence. Research limitations/implications A limitation of the research is that the study's experimental design sacrificed some external generalizability in order to maintain internal validity and obtain more definite information regarding the causal effects of service provider emotional intelligence on customer satisfaction. Future research might examine the replicability of the present results in a field study of actual service encounters. Originality/value The findings of the present study lend support to theoretically‐based claims of the importance of service provider emotional intelligence in determining customer satisfaction.
Models link between employees’ behavior and short- and long-term customer perceptions. Subjects were confronted with five different video taped non-routine service encounters (study 1) and eight manipulated routine service encounters (study 2). In study 1, two judges encoded behavior of service employees. With three types of behavior it was possible to explain customers’ feelings of warmth. Warmth also correlated with measures such as likeability, perceived quality and service loyalty. Study 2 used a hotel reception as a setting, and service quality was manipulated in eight different ways. Warmth correlated highly with post-experience measures, had a dual impact on customer loyalty and increased intention to stay and willingness to pay more for the same service. Service firms should train employees to deal with emotions and to learn empathic behaviors.
Article
Hoarding disorder (HD) is currently being considered for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), yet remains poorly understood. Consensus is building that hoarding may constitute a separate disorder, although comorbidity remains high and complicates the diagnostic picture. The purpose of this investigation was to explore patterns of comorbidity among people who engage in hoarding behavior in order to better understand its clinical presentation and phenomenology. Data were collected from a large internet sample (N = 363) of people who self-identified as having hoarding problems, met criteria for clinically significant hoarding, and completed all measures for this study. Participants self-reported their symptoms of disorders commonly co-occurring with hoarding (obsessive-compulsive disorder [OCD], depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD]), along with other clinical problems. Latent class analysis results indicated that the participants were grouped into three classes: “non-comorbid” hoarding (42%), hoarding with depression (42%), and hoarding with depression and inattention (16%). Depression symptoms were the most commonly co-occurring symptom in this sample. Contrary to previous theory relating to hoarding etiology, OCD symptoms were not significantly co-occurring and a large percentage of the study participants were free from comorbid symptoms of OCD, depression, and ADHD. This suggests that HD is not primarily the consequence of other psychiatric conditions. Implications for DSM-5, clinical treatment, and future research directions are discussed.
Article
Doron and Kyrios (2005) have suggested that self-related constructs may be vulnerability factors for the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and associated cognitions, possibly including compulsive buying, hoarding, and materialism. The present study examined the relationship between self-related constructs (self-ambivalence and attachment uncertainty), compulsive acquisition, hoarding, and materialism. As predicted, self-ambivalence and uncertainty were correlated with materialism, compulsive hoarding, and compulsive buying, while compulsive acquisition of free things was correlated with uncertainty. Furthermore, self-ambivalence accounted for significant variance in all three possession-related variables even after controlling for depression and indecisiveness. Uncertainty accounted for significant variance in the compulsive acquisition of free things. Materialism exhibited high to moderate correlations with compulsive buying but low to moderate correlations with compulsive hoarding and no association with free acquisition. Lack of family warmth failed to correlate with acquisition variables but did correlate with depression. Overall, the findings supported the contribution of self-ambivalence and attachment patterns but not early family environment to the understanding of compulsive acquisition, particularly hoarding and buying problems.
Article
This study examined the nature of possession and ownership in a developmental and cross-cultural context. It was an exploratory study attempting to map out the various dimensions of the meaning of possession, and the motivation for possessive behaviour. An open-ended interview was administered to (a) 150 American subjects, 30 at each of five age levels (kindergarten, second, fifth, and eleventh grades, and 40- to 50-year-old adults), and (b) 120 Israeli subjects, 60 from the kibbutz and 60 from the city (in each case, 30 of kindergarten age and 30 of fifth-grade age). A content analysis was performed on the interview responses. The resulting dimensions of the meaning of possession and of the motivation for possession are presented, and the relative saliencies of these dimensions for the different age and cultural groups are discussed. Of particular importance to all ages and cultural groups were the two dimensions of (a) effectance and control of possessions, and (b) positive affect for possessions. A large number of other dimensions were also obtained, often differing in their relative importance at different ages. It is hoped that the results will lay the foundations for subsequent empirical work on this topic.
Addresses criticisms of the authors' previous linking of emotion and intelligence by explaining that many intellectual problems contain emotional information that must be processed. Using P. Salovey and J. D. Mayer's (1990) definition of emotional intelligence as a type of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one's thinking, it is argued that intelligence is an appropriate metaphor for the construct. The abilities and mechanisms that underlie emotional intelligence are described. These mechanisms are (1) emotionality itself, (2) facilitation and inhibition of emotional information flow, and (3) specialized neural mechanisms. Emotionality contributes to specific abilities, and emotional management influences information channels and problem solving. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Extant consumer research literature focuses on the subtleties, multiplicity of meanings, and values consumers attach to acquisition of personal possessions. Researchers have devoted less attention to consumers' disposition behaviors, including factors that influence disposition decisions. This paper explores voluntary disposition using data gathered through participant observations and in-depth interviews with a range of consumers, including those involved in clothing exchange (CE) events. The findings provide support for the a priori themes of values and consumption patterns, extending the life of self and goods, and consumers' self-concept. Additionally, the findings yield emergent themes of role transitions, role models and family patterns, and shared community. Utilizing our findings, and extant literature, we propose a conceptual Framework of Voluntary Disposition that can be utilized to analyze further meanings of consumer disposition patterns in different contexts. Copyright
Article
This study examines how consumers who engage in voluntary simplicity experience disposal in relation to changes in their values, identity, and lifestyle. The hermeneutic analysis shows disposal organized around three main themes: “desire for emancipation,” “sacrificing the surplus,” and “moving toward the sacred.” Each theme offers insights on disposal as a transcendental experience during which consumers relocate consumption meanings from the profane to the sacred. On the one hand, the practice of disposal symbolizes a distance from the profane marketplace and its constraining norms and on the other hand, it leads consumers to participate in the life of objects and to construct sacred consumption. Here, goods are removed from the profane commerce and transferred to sacredness with an eternal life of transit between hands and ownership. As such, goods can be regarded as alive, physically moving from one person to another. This article concludes that voluntary disposal can be seen as a form of empowerment. Through disposal, consumers participate in the life of objects. By contributing to the circulation of the material, consumers have the power to transform an act of pure elimination into a transcendental experience that prefigures the death of profane consumption and the birth of sacred consumption. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
This article provides an overview of current research on emotional intelligence. Although it has been defined in many ways, we focus on the four-branch model by Mayer and Salovey (1997), which characterizes emo-tional intelligence as a set of four related abilities: per-ceiving, using, understanding, and managing emotions. The theory provides a useful framework for studying in-dividual differences in abilities related to processing emo-tional information. Despite measurement obstacles, the evidence in favor of emotional intelligence is accumulating. Emotional intelligence predicts success in important do-mains, among them personal and work relationships. KEYWORDS—emotional intelligence; emotions; social inter-action In the past decade, emotional intelligence has generated an enormous amount of interest both within and outside the field of psychology. The concept has received considerable media at-tention, and many readers of this article may have already en-countered one or more definitions of emotional intelligence. The present discussion, however, focuses on the scientific study of emotional intelligence rather than on popularizations of the concept. Mayer and Salovey (1997; see also Salovey & Mayer, 1990) proposed a model of emotional intelligence to address a growing need in psychology for a framework to organize the study of in-dividual differences in abilities related to emotion. This theo-retical model motivated the creation of the first ability-based tests of emotional intelligence. Although findings remain pre-liminary, emotional intelligence has been shown to have an ef-fect on important life outcomes such as forming satisfying personal relationships and achieving success at work. Perhaps most importantly, ability-based tests of emotional intelligence reliably measure skills that are relatively distinct from com-monly assessed aspects of personality.
Article
Hoarding of possessions is thought to be influenced by deficits in information processing, emotional attachments, and erroneous beliefs about possessions. This study examined hypothesized beliefs about possessions using an instrument developed for this purpose, the Saving Cognitions Inventory (SCI). Participants were individuals with compulsive hoarding (n = 95), obsessive compulsive disorder without hoarding (n = 21), and community controls (n = 40). An exploratory factor analysis yielded 4 factors similar to those hypothesized, representing emotional attachment, concerns about memory, control over possessions, and responsibility toward possessions. Subscales created based on these factors were internally consistent, and showed known groups, convergent and discriminant validity. Regression analyses indicated that 3 of the 4 subscales (memory, control, and responsibility) significantly predicted hoarding severity after age, moodstate, OCD symptoms and other OCD-related cognitive variables were entered. Interestingly, difficulty with decision-making also proved to be an important predictor of hoarding behavior. Implications for understanding and treating hoarding are discussed and study limitations are noted.
Article
Existing psychological and pharmacological interventions for obsessive-compulsive disorder have not been particularly successful for compulsive hoarding, perhaps due in part to poor insight on the part of sufferers. Individuals with compulsive hoarding problems commonly display lack of awareness of the severity of their behavior, sometimes denying that they have a problem and often resisting intervention attempts and failing to follow through with therapeutic assignments. Using an internet-based survey, family and friends of individuals with reported hoarding problems (family/friend informants, N=584) provided ratings of the hoarder’s level of insight. They also made several ratings of the severity of the person’s hoarding behavior, then rated the same items again with regard to how they thought the hoarder would respond to the items. Family/friend informants described the hoarder on average as having fair to poor insight. More than half were described as having “poor insight” or “lacks insight/delusional,” substantially worse insight than found in samples of OCD clinic patients using the same measure. Family/friend informants’ ratings of hoarding severity were significantly greater than were their estimates of the hoarder’s ratings. Hoarders described as showing less distress about the hoarding were described as showing poorer insight. These results suggest that compulsive hoarding is characterized by poor insight into the severity of the problem. Treatment development might need to emphasize strategies to bolster awareness, insight, and motivation.
Article
This article confronts the challenges of charity merchandising and competition for secondhand goods by examining consumer disposal behaviour. It focuses on goods traded by charity retailers and extends existing research on disposal by reporting the multifarious strategies that characterise household disposition. Descriptive research is presented, based on a postal survey of 210 households. Descriptive statistics illustrate patterns of disposal, and a hierarchical cluster analysis using the Jaccard coefficient is performed to distinguish households in terms of goods discarded and channels used. The results show that disposal is significantly influenced by the events that prompt disposition (decorating, purchase, and bereavement), and households use a varied portfolio of disposal channels within and across categories of goods. Five types of households are differentiated with respect to the combination of channels used and the mixture of goods discarded. The conclusions suggest how charity retailers might extend and refine targeting activities to ameliorate procurement, thus facilitating pursuit of increasingly sophisticated retail strategies.
Article
Hoarding behavior, patterns of use of possessions, and emotional attachment to possessions were examined among a sample of female undergraduates and a sample of community volunteers. Hoarding behavior was associated with a decreased frequency of use of possessions and excessive concern about maintaining control over possessions. Furthermore, high scores on the hoarding scale were associated with higher levels of perceived responsibility for: (1) being prepared; and (2) the well-being of the possession. Hoarding was also associated with greater emotional attachment to possessions and to the reliance on possessions for emotional comfort. The implications of these findings for the definition of hoarding are discussed.
Article
The stories told by charitable organizations are typically designed to take the consumer through different emotional stages. This research probes the view that following exposure to the inciting incident or problem statement in the appeal for a particular charity, the consumer feels negative emotions. These feelings convert into anticipated positive emotions when the consumer is given the opportunity to help the person in need through a donation. Feedback that donors receive from the charitable organization will help to strengthen the emotional pay-off and enhances future donation intentions. The research utilizes an experimental design and data from 319 undergraduate students in a large U.S. university to confirm these hypotheses. Theoretical and managerial implications are then presented.
Article
Compulsive hoarding is a little studied phenomenon within the research literature. The information available on compulsive hoarding is diverse and not well integrated. In the present article we propose a tentative cognitive-behavioral model of compulsive hoarding. The purpose of such a model is to provide a framework for the development and testing of hypotheses about compulsive hoarding. In this model hoarding is conceptualized as a multifaceted problem stemming from: (1) information processing deficits; (2) problems in forming emotional attachments; (3) behavioral avoidance; and (4) erroneous beliefs about the nature of possessions. Specific hypotheses about each of these are discussed.
Article
The acquisition and saving of a large number of possessions that interfere with the use of living areas in the home are remarkably common behaviors that can pose serious threats to the health and safety of the affected person and those living nearby. Recent research on hoarding has led the DSM-5 Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum, Post-traumatic, and Dissociative Disorders Work Group to propose the addition of hoarding disorder to the list of disorders in the upcoming revision of the diagnostic manual. This review examines the research related to the diagnosis and assessment of hoarding and hoarding disorder. The proposed criteria appear to accurately define the disorder, and preliminary studies suggest they are reliable. Recent assessment strategies for hoarding have improved our understanding of the nature of this behavior. Areas in need of further research have been highlighted.
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The aims of the study were to estimate the prevalence rate of compulsive hoarding, and to determine the association between compulsive hoarding and compulsive buying in a nationally representative sample of the German population (N = 2307). Compulsive hoarding was assessed with the German version of the Saving Inventory-Revised (SI-R; Frost, R.O., Steketee, G., & Grisham, J. (2004). Measurement of compulsive hoarding: saving inventory-revised. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42, 1163-1182.). The point prevalence of compulsive hoarding was estimated to be 4.6%. Individuals with compulsive hoarding did not differ significantly from those without compulsive hoarding regarding age, gender, and other sociodemographic characteristics. Significant correlations were found between the compulsive hoarding and the compulsive buying measures. Participants with compulsive hoarding reported a higher propensity to compulsive buying than respondents without hoarding. About two thirds of participants classified as having compulsive hoarding were also defined as suffering from compulsive buying. In summary, these results suggest that compulsive hoarding may be relatively prevalent in Germany and they confirm the close association between compulsive hoarding and compulsive buying through the investigation of a large scale representative sample.