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Psychologies Behind Making Collections

Have you ever wandered around the beach looking for shells, or saved money for a very long time to get the Lego you really wanted so that you would have a new piece added to your collection? Probably you did. From marbles to coins and Hot Wheels to stamps people all over the world collect stuff. But why? What are the psychologies behind collecting things? Well, you’re about to find out!


Of course, there are many interesting and logical reasons why people spend their money, time, and energy on making collections. In fact, there are a range of theories on this topic such as consumerism1, materialism2, neurobiology3, and psychoanalytic theory4. In this blog, you will be reading about five main factors in making collections which are: Personal Enjoyment, Nostalgia, Investment, Coping Mechanism, and Competition.


Personal enjoyment may be the most general reason why we collect stuff. Since making collections is a kind of hobby it brings us positive feelings. These collections may also hold sentimental value which creates a stronger bond between us and the things we collect, evoking a sense of pleasure and enjoyment.


Nostalgia, on the other hand, is another important factor for many people who do collections. For example, collecting stamps, Pokémon cards, or spinning tops may give us a feeling of nostalgia, mostly related to our childhood times. The old things we collect may help us remember our past and make the heartwarming memories easier to stay with us. Since remembering good old memoirs will make us happy, collecting things will become more appealing to us.


Another motivation for developing collections is investment. This motive not only looks at the emotional part of the activity but also the financial part too. By collecting the things that are thought to increase in value in the future is a very clever way to be rich. It’s like investing in gold! Although, one must be careful if they want to use collections as a way of investment. To give more detail, this job has some requirements such as: being able to pick the right thing to collect, being patient, entrepreneurship, determination, and effective money management.


Collecting can serve as a coping mechanism for individuals to deal with stress, anxiety, emotional challenges, or everyday problems. By spending our time on collecting we will feel more peaceful because it is a way of distraction from our tethers connecting us to reality.


Last but not least, competition has always been a major element of making collections. By enhancing competitiveness, people will be more enthusiastic about making collections and join the friendly rivalry of finding the rarest item or collecting the most.


To sum up, you have read about some of the simplest psychologies behind making collections, and I’m sure that each person has their own motives for collecting things. Some might find it mind-relaxing, some might find it fun, but in the end, it is a nice hobby to have, and I believe that more research should be done on this topic.


1) Consumerism is the idea of encouraging consumers to buy goods and services in order to support economic activity.

2) Materialism is giving a lot of importance to owning stuff and being wealthy. Physical possessions matter more than abstract possessions like ideas, emotions, or love for materialistic people.

3) Neurobiology is the study of our nervous system; researching how it works and how it affects our thoughts, feelings, and actions.

4) Psychoanalytic looks at how our unconscious thoughts and feelings affect our behaviors. This theory was developed by Sigmund Freud.


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