An interesting study on the correlation between feeling loved by others and valuing material possessions. Seems like the more insecure you are, the more you are comforted by your possessions.
The idea that materialism is linked to comfort isn’t new, but researchers from the University of New Hampshire and Yale University wanted to understand more concretely how people gauge the monetary value of their belongings in relation to how loved and secure they feel.
So researchers asked 185 study participants, average age 35, to complete a couple of exercises. First, they asked half the group to recall a time when they felt supported and cared for; the other half were asked to think about a fun experience, such as eating at a really great restaurant. Then, both groups were asked to put a money value on the blankets currently on their beds. The group who recalled a good dining experience valued their blankets at $173.30 on average, but the group who had thought about an experience of being loved valued their bedspreads at a paltry $33.38.
“People value possessions, in part, because they afford a sense of protection, insurance, and comfort,” lead researcher Edward Lemay, assistant professor of psychology at University of New Hampshire, said in a statement. “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.”