A revealing, scientific investigation of the secret, tangled, emotional relationships people have with things—drawing on cutting-edge findings from psychology, neuroscience, and marketing.

Books, baseball cards, favorite brands, ceramic figurines, art, iPhones, clothing, cars, music, dolls, comic books, furniture and even nature itself. If you're like most people, at some point in your life you've found yourself indulging in a love affair with some thing that brings you immense joy, comfort, or fulfillment. Why is it that we so often feel intense passion for objects? What does this tendency tell us about ourselves and our society?

In The Things We Love, Dr. Aaron Ahuvia reveals some astonishing discoveries from psychology, neuroscience, and marketing that prove we are far less “rational” than we think when it comes to our possessions and hobbies. Instead, we have intense relationships with the things we love, and these relationships are driven by influences deep within our culture and our biology. Some of our passions are sudden, obsessive, and fleeting. Some are devoted and lifelong affairs. Others turn dark: we become hoarders, or find ourselves wanting to destroy certain objects rather than let anyone else own them. As technology improves, and becomes increasingly addictive, might our lives become so dominated by our emotional ties to things that we lose interest in other people?

Packed with fascinating case studies, science, and takeaways for living in a modern world saturated with advertisements and material desires, The Things We Love offers a truly original and insightful look into how and why we come to love inanimate objects — and how understanding these relationships can enrich and improve our lives. Along the way, it provides fresh perspective on one of the oldest topics of all, the nature of love itself.

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