Theses and Dissertations



Dozier, Mary E.

Committee Member

DeShong, Hilary L.

Committee Member

Porter, Bennett W.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Immediate Worldwide Access

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


Research assessing the diagnostic criteria for hoarding disorder has firmly differentiated hoarding disorder from normative collecting. However, there has been no examination of non-normative collecting – that is, collectors that experience elevated hoarding symptoms. The current study utilized an online survey to explore differences between self-identified collectors (n = 140) and non-collectors (n = 169) in externalized hoarding symptoms, saving cognitions, and psychosocial functioning. Collectors reported higher general self-efficacy and higher need for control of items than non-collectors. Hoarding symptoms were not significantly different between collectors and non-collectors. These results suggest that identifying as a collector does not significantly change the outward presentation of hoarding symptoms in this sample. However, the differences in internal cognitions imply that there are factors related to collecting behaviors that could influence treatment seeking behaviors and treatment outcomes. Future studies should consider whether identifying as a collector influences the efficacy of established treatments for hoarding disorder.