Department of Psychology

Understanding More about Hoarding

Tue Feb 28 15:03:00 GMT 2017

Why are we doing this research?

Compulsive Hoarding affects 2-4% of the population and can have a huge impact on people's quality of life. We know that hoarding is a complicated problem to experience and the success of treatment can be variable.  Understanding the beliefs and interpretations people make about their experiences has been central to successfully treating a range of problems using cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).  Because of this we want to learn more about the beliefs people have about their things (people who hoard and people who don't). Having a clearer understanding of the beliefs behind why people acquire and struggle to let go of their possessions will hopefully inform psychological treatments for people experiencing hoarding problems.
Who are we looking for to take part in this research?

We are looking for three groups:

  • People with Hoarding difficulties,
  • People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • People without any hoarding problems, OCD or other psychological difficulties.

People must be over 18 and living in the UK to take part.

What does the research study involve?

We want to compare specific beliefs and interpretations about possessions. To help with this you will be asked to:

  • Participate in a brief interview (to ensure the study is suited to you)
  • Complete a set of questionnaires

You will be given a £5 voucher as a small gesture of thanks for your time.

How long will it take?

The study (including the brief interview) will take approximately 2 hours.

When and where will the research take place?

  • The research will be start from 2017 and run until 2018.
  • The interview will be completed over the phone or on Skype, depending on your preference. We can also arrange for the interview to take place at the University of Bath or possibly at your home.
  • The questionnaires can be completed online or if you prefer, they can be sent through the post.

Will my taking part in this study be kept confidential?

Yes. All information collected about you during the course of the research will be kept confidential and will conform to the Data Protection Act of 1998.
This research has been approved by the Department of Psychology Ethics Committee (Ref. 16-197).

Why should you take part?

 This study will not help you directly but the information collected from you and other participants should help to improve our understanding of Compulsive Hoarding. Our aim from conducting this, and other studies like it, is ultimately to help develop and improve psychological therapies for hoarding.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you would like to take part in the study please email Carly Smith (Clinical Psychologist in Training and Lead Researcher for the project, Oana Petcu (Research Assistant for the project) on or
Supervisors of the project are Paul Salkovskis (Professor of Clinical Psychology and advisor to the Hoarding Project) and Dr James Gregory (Clinical Psychologist with specialist research interest and experience in Hoarding Difficulties).