(Time Moneyland) The Reason You’re in Love With Material Possessions? Loneliness
People are supposed to love other people (and perhaps, pets and local sports franchises). So why is it that consumers are prone to borderline-romantic infatuations with stuff ranging from cars to computers, and even guns? Why do they go so far as to fawn over these inanimate objects and pamper them with complementary products and services? A new study says loneliness is primarily to blame.
The study, titled “Truly, Madly, Deeply: Consumers in the Throes of Material Possession Love” and authored by a trio of marketing professors for the Journal of Consumer Research, takes a close look at “love-smitten consumers” who are particularly ga-ga over four products: cars, computers, bicycles, and guns. Material possession love, as they define it, involves an attachment that incorporates passion, intimacy, and commitment. Some marriages don’t have all three of those. But the guys who wax their sports cars in the driveway weekly, and who are heartbroken when the bumper is scratched? That’s true love.