By: Alexa Standard
Friday, June 12, 2009
Every spring, the media abound with well-intentioned tips for shedding domestic clutter. For hoarders, however, the word clutter doesn’t begin to describe the accumulated mountains of old receipts, bags, and outdated clothing. And no amount of friendly advice will induce them to get rid of it.
“We’re trying to look at unconscious emotional drives like attachment and comfort to explain hoarding,” says Stephanie Preston, an assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University of Michigan, who studies hoarding behavior in animals and humans. “This drive to acquire things is not very susceptible to logic. It just feels bad, really bad, to them to lose this stuff.”
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