University of Bath

Take part in psychology research to help people with hoarding difficulties

Our researchers want to understand more about how people with hoarding difficulties sort and categorise possessions.

Help us with new psychology research to understand more about how people with hoarding difficulties sort and categorise possessions.
Help us with new psychology research to understand more about how people with hoarding difficulties sort and categorise possessions.

What we're doing

This study looks at how we sort or categorise our possessions. Previous studies have suggested there may be differences in how people who hoard sort their possessions compared with the general population.

Some people have great difficulty in letting go of valued possessions. This difficulty can lead to rooms becoming disorganised over time so that the space is no longer useable nor recognisable. This can be referred to as a hoarding problem.

By finding out more about how these people categorise their possessions, we hope to develop new psychological approaches to helping individuals with hoarding difficulties.

Take part

We are looking for people with hoarding problems as well as individuals with no current mental health difficulties to be part of the control group.

To be eligible for this study you must:

  • be aged 18 or over;
  • have either difficulties with hoarding OR have no current mental health difficulties;
  • not be diagnosed with any organic brain injury or neurological disorder;
  • not have a past or current diagnosis of psychosis or bipolar disorder;
  • not have a current problem with substance dependence.

What's involved

The study involves a brief telephone screening interview, completion of a short questionnaire and a set of sorting tasks. This can take place at the University campus or another location if preferred.

Your participation will take approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.

What you'll get

You will be given a £5 Amazon voucher as a small gesture of thanks for taking part and a small donation to a hoarding charity on your behalf.

To take part, email akilvert-hoarding@bath.ac.uk

Researcher behind this project, Alice Kilvert explained: "This study hopes to increase our understanding of how people with hoarding difficulties categorise and sort their possessions. Previous research has indicated that people with hoarding difficulties may find it harder to categorise and sort personal possessions. I am really excited to understand better how different individuals relate to their possessions and what may be affecting this. By participating in this study you can play a pivotal role in increasing our understanding of hoarding so we can develop better ways of supporting individuals who want or need our help."

Dr James Gregory added: "Alice’s research aims to shed light on this important area by investigating whether people with hoarding difficulties really do find it difficult to categorise possessions and if so, why this might be."