What is your most cherished possession?
When asked what item they cherished most, studies show that women are most likely to say family photos while men will say the family home (or often, their car).
But research also reveals that we are more likely to cherish a possession given to us by someone else rather than something we have bought ourselves.
Everyone loves thier Teddy!
Other studies have revealed that we can’t let go of some childhood items, many of us still have our childhood teddy bears. What’s more we would turn down large amounts of money for them. At least 88% would refuse £5,000 for a cherished childhood cuddly toy and 63% would stand firm if the offer was raised to £10,000.
One explanation for this is the memories and meaning cherished items contain. Just looking at or touching an item can bring back a host of memories of events, family and friends.
If you could save one object…
Two British psychologists Gregory Jones and Maryanne Martin carried out a set of three studies on participants in Europe and the USA. They asked: ““If you could save one object from a fire, what would you save?”
Whatever the chosen item, be it jewellery, photographs, ornaments, childhood toys and the like it was clear from the answers that whatever they chose was not about monetary value but about that item’s capacity to evoke memories.
Top 20 possessions
So how much do men and women differ on what they cherish? One insurance company asked people to list their top 20 cherished items. These were the results:
Women’s top 20 prized possessions –
1. Family photos
3. Wedding ring
4. Engagement ring
5. Family pet
6. Photographs of deceased relatives
9. Smart phone
10. Childhood pictures
12. Photographs of significant other
13. Children’s artwork
14. Photographs of deceased friends
18. Baby clothes
19. A favourite book
20. Parents’ wedding rings
Men’s top 20 –
2. Family photos
4. Wedding ring
5. Photographs of deceased relatives
6. Family pet
8. Photographs of significant other
10. Smart phone
12. Vinyl records
13. CD collection
16. Photographs of deceased friends
18. Childhood pictures
While there are some overlaps, it is interesting to see the different order in which each gender places cherished items.