See Inside September / October 2011

I Love You, Shoes

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A warm, fuzzy feeling toward your bobblehead dolls or a shoe collection, say, may reveal a lack of secure relationships, according to a study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. “Valuing possessions can be a way in which people substitute for interpersonal security,” says Edward P. Lemay, a study author and assistant professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire. The logic also applies to hoarding. Being reminded of the supportive relationships in your life might make it easier to let go of unneeded stuff, Lemay says. [For more on the psychology of ownership, see “Passion for Possessions: Mine!” by Bruce Hood.]

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