It’s mind-boggling what passes for science in some fields and what kind of pseudo-scientific studies get published and picked up by the media:
Researchers from the University of New Hampshire and Yale University wanted to understand more concretely how people gauge the monetary value of their belongings in relation to how loved and secure they feel. So researchers asked 185 study participants, average age 35, to complete a couple of exercises. First, they asked half the group to recall a time when they felt supported and cared for; the other half were asked to think about a fun experience, such as eating at a really great restaurant. Then, both groups were asked to put a money value on the blankets currently on their beds. The group who recalled a good dining experience valued their blankets at $173.30 on average, but the group who had thought about an experience of being loved valued their bedspreads at a paltry $33.38.
I know exactly how much the blanket on my bed costs because I paid for it. And that amount doesn’t change irrespective of which experiences I recall. I’m also kind of puzzled by the mention of the “paltry $33.38”. My blanket costs less than that, and I’m now asking myself what kind of a spoiled rich brat wrote this article.
What is really funny, though, is the way the scholar who conducted this study explains its usefulness:
“These findings seem particularly relevant to understanding why people may hang onto goods that are no longer useful. They also may be relevant to understanding why family members often fight over items from estates that they feel are rightfully theirs and to which they are already attached. Inherited items may be especially valued because the associated death threatens a person’s sense of personal security,” Lemay said.
Is there really anybody who doesn’t know the answers to these very simple questions? It is sad to see how much money is wasted on conducting so-called studies that demonstrate what already is painfully obvious.