Collecting objects gives enormous pleasure to approximately one third of the population, providing such benefits as intellectual stimulation, the thrill of the chase, and leaving a legacy. On the other hand, the same pursuit can engender pain; for example, paying too much for an object, unknowingly buying a fake, or dealing with the frustrations of collection dispersal. Until recently, there was no objective way to enhance the positive (pleasure) aspects of collecting and minimize the negative (pain).
Now, for the first time, scientific research in neuro- and behavioral economics gives us a way to turn this around. We meet neuroscientist and psychiatrist Shirley M. Mueller, MD. By using examples from these disciplines, she relates her own experiences as a serious collector and as a neuroscientist to examine different behavioral traits which form the basis of collecting.