Addicted to Possessions: Should Hoarding Disorder and Compulsive Buying-Shopping Disorder be classified as Behavioural Addictions?

What is the study about?

This study is funded by the Psyche Foundation. The main purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of the acquiring and saving behaviours in Hoarding Disorder and Compulsive Buying-Shopping Disorder. We are investigating whether excessive acquiring and saving can be classified as behavioural addictions by comparing individuals with and without hoarding/compulsive buying problems. We are also attempting to understand the mechanisms that drive these behaviours.

This study involves a 3.5-hour Zoom session that involves multiple interviews, a computerised task, and the completion of questionnaires. Zoom is a video platform that allows us to see you when we conduct the interviews and you complete the computerised task and questionnaires.

In order to participate in this study, you must first complete a 30-min screening interview to determine if you might be eligible. This interview is also completed via Zoom. Not all who complete the screening interview will be eligible for the main study.

Who is eligible to participate in this study?

We are looking to recruit a few groups of participants. 

First, we are seeking participants with significant hoarding problems. [recruitment target met]

Second, we are seeking participants with compulsive buying problems. [still recruiting]

Lastly, we are also seeking participants with no hoarding or compulsive buying problems, who also do not have a significant history of mental health issues. This "no mental health problems" group will act as a comparison group so that we can understand what drives compulsive buying and hoarding problems. [still recruiting]

All partipants will need a computer to participate. A phone or iPad will not work. You'll also need to show a photo ID to verify your identity. 

You do not have to live in Australia to participate in this study. In fact, we really would like people from around the world to participate. This will help to ensure we have a representative sample.

You'll need to participate in a screening interview to find out if you might eligible. The screening interview takes about 30 minutes to complete and is not paid. 

Do participants get paid for participating in this study?

Participants will be remunerated with AU$20 per hour for the 3.5-hour Zoom study, and will also be given the opportunity to win up to AU$10 bonus prize money for participating. We use Paypal to reimburse participants. We cannot pay cash.

Unfortunately, the screening interview is not compensated as we do not have the money to support this payment.

Participation is voluntary. We know that not all individuals can donate their time so we greatly appreciate all who are able to contribute to scientific research.

Who can I contact about this study?

If you have any questions or concerns, or simply would just like to know more about this study, please email

Read more about BSL

The Behavioural Sciences Laboratory (BSL) is led by Professor Melissa Norberg at Macquarie University.