How do people perceive objects?

Olivia Buckeridge and Celine Josephine Giese are conducting this study as their dissertation project for the MSc in Applied Clinical Psychology at the University of Bath. 

This study is looking at how people perceive objects and they are particularly interested to see  if there are any differences between people with Hoarding difficulties, OCD and no mental health problems in the way they value objects.

It is suggested that individuals who hoard might perceive objects and their qualitative properties differently. However, there is currently very limited research investigating this. This research will therefore compare these aspects across people with hoarding difficulties, those who experience obsessions and compulsions, and those with no mental health issues. This information will be useful as a better understanding may help to develop existing treatments by including a focus on these factors.

Prior to choosing whether you would like to take part in this study, you need to understand the purpose of the research and what it might involve.

Who can take part?

We are looking for:

People who have difficulties related to a problem called Hoarding Disorder where people acquire objects and find it difficult to let go of their possessions such that their living spaces become cluttered.

People who have difficulties related to a problem called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder where people have obsessive thoughts and partake in compulsive behaviours.

People who have no current mental health difficulties (so we can compare the experiences of people with and without mental health difficulties).

Is there anyone who cannot take part?

This study will not be appropriate for people who:

Have been diagnosed with an organic brain injury or neurological disorder, Are under the age of 18.

Your participation is entirely voluntary and if at any point you wish to withdraw from the study, you can simply close the browser window. You do not have to provide any reasons for your withdrawal. 

Do I need anything and what do I have to do?

All you need is either your laptop, computer or mobile device and a reliable internet connection. If you wish to participate in this study you will firstly complete the consent form on the next page. Then we will ask you to fill out a few questionnaires to see if you are eligible for the study, that is to determine if you are within one of the groups above in the ‘Who can take part?’ section. 

If eligible you will be asked to fill out a few additional questionnaires, these will tell us a bit more about how you think about objects.    

The second task is simply looking at some pictures of objects and rating them with regard to different properties they might have. The ratings and what they mean in this study will be clearly defined later.

 How long will it take?

As there is no time limit on this study, you can relax and take all the time you need. 

We have found that it normally takes about 30-45 minutes to complete this study.

Do I get anything for taking part?

First of all, we would be very grateful for your participation. Moreover, you will be entered into a prize draw for one of three £25 Amazon vouchers. If you are participating through the University’s ‘Research Participation Scheme’ you will instead be awarded one credit. 

If there is anything that is not clear, or if you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing or contacting the researchers at either or 

If you have any further questions about this research or your participation, please contact our supervisor Dr. James Gregory at If you decide to participate please also contact James if you would like to share your experiences of participating in the research or would like to provide any other feedback on the study.

Please click the link to learn more about this study