Love-smitten consumers will do anything for their cars and guns

Dec 22, 2010

The way people treat their possessions looks like love, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"Is it possible for consumers to be in love with their possessions?" ask authors John L. Lastovicka (Arizona State University) and Nancy J. Sirianni (Texas Christian University). When it comes to cars, computers, bicycles, and firearms, the answer seems to be a resounding yes.

The researchers visited five car shows in Arizona and conducted in-depth interviews with car enthusiasts (males and females, aged 19-68). They found that love-smitten consumers were more likely to use pet names than brand names when describing their cars and that some people seemed to use their attachment to cars to remedy pain and disappointment in their romantic lives.

"Material possession relationships may reduce the of and loneliness, and can contribute to consumer well-being, especially when considered relative to less-desirable alternative responses like substance abuse, , and the side-effects of anti-depressant medications," the authors write.

The researchers found various combinations of passion, intimacy, and commitment in consumers' relationships. "Consumers felt a passion, or a relentless drive to be with their beloved possession, and this often manifested in gazing at and caressing their cars, and even some love-at-first-sight purchase decisions," the authors write.

People nurture relationships with their beloved possessions, investing time and money into improving them and becoming fluent in understanding their details. "We found love-smitten consumers spent six times more on accessories and enhancements for their prized guns than firearm owners who did not demonstrate passion, intimacy, or commitment toward their guns," the authors write.

These findings have significance for firms that sell accessories and after-purchase services such as cleaning, enhancements, and repairs. "For those in the throes of material possession love, it should be no wonder that they so freely spend their time and money on their beloved," the authors conclude.

Explore further: Precarious work schedules common among younger workers

More information: John L. Lastovicka and Nancy J. Sirianni. "Truly, Madly, Deeply: Consumers in the Throes of Material Possession Love." Journal of Consumer Research: August 2011. Further information: ejcr.org

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Consumers love underdogs

Jul 20, 2010

Consumers strongly relate to brands that they perceive as underdogs, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Teens in Love Do Less Crime

Jan 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Teenagers in love may be less likely to get mixed up in crime and substance abuse, according to new UC Davis research. But while romantic love seems to help keep teens law-abiding, casual sex can mean trouble.

Recommended for you

Precarious work schedules common among younger workers

Aug 29, 2014

One wish many workers may have this Labor Day is for more control and predictability of their work schedules. A new report finds that unpredictability is widespread in many workers' schedules—one reason ...

Girls got game

Aug 29, 2014

Debi Taylor has worked in everything from construction development to IT, and is well and truly socialised into male-dominated workplaces. So when she found herself the only female in her game development ...

Computer games give a boost to English

Aug 28, 2014

If you want to make a mark in the world of computer games you had better have a good English vocabulary. It has now also been scientifically proven that someone who is good at computer games has a larger ...

Saddam Hussein—a sincere dictator?

Aug 28, 2014

Are political speeches manipulative and strategic? They could be – when politicians say one thing in public, and privately believe something else, political scientists say. Saddam Hussein's legacy of recording private discussions ...

User comments : 11

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

geokstr
1.9 / 5 (9) Dec 22, 2010
And leftlings are in love with power and the Collective. So?

This of course is just another earmark sponge to "prove" the existence of Obama's "bitter clingers".
HoboWhisperer
5 / 5 (4) Dec 22, 2010
@ geokstr
What?
geokstr
1 / 5 (6) Dec 22, 2010
@ geokstr
What?

Apparently you don't follow politics much.

People collect (and believe in) all sorts of things, and will rave rhapsodic about them to anyone who will listen: coins, stamps, art, Che posters, copies of Mao's little red book, and yes, even guns. Why would this "study", or at least this article about this "study". focus on guns, of all things? Probably because its author is anti-2nd Amendment.

And Obama spoke famously, and fatuously, in 2008 about those on the right clinging to their guns and religion. All I did was put two and two together.

And we all know that since he was elected there have been a couple tens of thousands of earmarks passed which had to go somewhere. While the Republicans got a minority share of them, the rest had to be soaked up by pro-Democrats.
Raveon
5 / 5 (3) Dec 22, 2010
Our cars and guns don't need to be held after using them, they don't complain or need emotional support, they are always faithful and they don't care how much beer we drink.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (4) Dec 22, 2010
geokstr: Are you saying that only those on the political right collect and appreciate cars and guns? Do you have any data to support that in any way? If not, you are turning an interesting study in the way people treat collections and the brain functionality they cause into an unsupported political statement. They specifically said: "...cars, computers, bicycles, and firearms" So, the right covets bicycles and the left wants to curtail them? How about computers? Is that the realm of the right and is the left out to stop them? What about cars? And all you can hear is guns. Being an avid shooter I can tell you we have a spectrum of political views at my gun range. The only single political view we all share is the right to bear arms. However, if you talk about abortion, religion, death penalty, health care... you will get a broad reaction. Please show me how this study of bicycles, cars, computers - and yes, firearms is political.
scidog
5 / 5 (1) Dec 23, 2010
it's just about being a gearhead.
dtxx
5 / 5 (3) Dec 23, 2010
Our cars and guns don't need to be held after using them, they don't complain or need emotional support, they are always faithful and they don't care how much beer we drink.


Yeah but I can't fuck my car.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Dec 24, 2010
Yeah but I can't fuck my car.
The Japanese are working on that.
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Dec 25, 2010
"it's just about being a gearhead." - Loopus

One of my friends works in a retail outlet that has one department devoted to automotive products. A disproportionate amount of theft occurs in that department.

That observation supports the view that gear heads are low life losers in adolescence and remain low life losers as adults.

Gun Grubbers are no different.
Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (1) Dec 25, 2010
"This of course is just another earmark sponge" - KlangTard

The day is fast approaching when Republican Tards will be hunted in the streets like animals, for sport.

Shootist
5 / 5 (1) Dec 27, 2010
Gun Grubbers are no different.


Gun Grabbers are no different. There, FIXED.

What part of "Shall Not Be Infringed", do people NOT understand?