The influence of anthropomorphic tendencies on human hoarding behaviours

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Neave, Nick ; Jackson, Rachel ; Saxton, Tamsin ; Honekopp, Johannes (2015)

Hoarding is the excessive acquisition of and failure to discard possessions. Previous research has shown a link between anthropomorphism (the tendency to ascribe human characteristics to non-human objects) and hoarding. Here we assess the psychometric properties of a new Anthropomorphism Questionnaire (AQ) in a nonclinical sample of 264 adults. A further sample of 93 participants was then recruited to assess relationships between hoarding behaviours and cognitions, scores on the AQ, an existing anthropomorphism questionnaire (Individual Differences in Anthropomorphism Questionnaire: IDAQ), and a measure of social anxiety. Regression analyses revealed the AQ but not the IDAQ to be a significant predictor for hoarding behaviours. Women showed stronger childhood anthropomorphising behaviours than men, and younger participants showed stronger anthropomorphising and hoarding cognitions and behaviours. We conclude that the AQ better supports the predicted relationship between anthropomorphism and hoarding than the IDAQ. We also suggest that age and sex need to be more carefully considered in future studies on anthropomorphism and hoarding.
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