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koti

Lots of identical objects evenly lying on shelves - why satisfying?

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This might sound silly so please drop this thread into another section if it doesn’t fit the standards for psychology;

I havent seen any research on this but I’m suspecting I’m not the only one feeling a certain type of satisfaction when looking at a large number of identical things. Be it hundreds of new smartphones lying evenly on shelves or hundreds of batteries evenly standing on shelves or simillar. Is there a pinpointed psychological mechanism that is responsible for this reaction or is it a combination of factors like a lot of things which are expensive and they’re all lying in one place? In my case I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter if the object is something of worth or not...whether they are a thousand iPhones or a thousand identical batteries I feel a certain type of satisfaction when looking at those. Is there something worth discussing here or am I ready to go see a psychiatrist? 

Edited by koti

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It sounds a bit like OCPD  (Obsessive compulsive personality disorder) but it's only a problem if it detrimentally affects your life and relationships. My mother is like this and I can't stand her behaviour anymore... it's like being with a robot. If you tick along ok, it's not a problem I would dwell on. People naturally fall on a spectrum from non-pathological orderliness to disorderliness.

Quote

Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a personality disorder characterized by a general pattern of concern with orderliness, perfectionism, excessive attention to details, mental and interpersonal control, and a need for control over one's environment, at the expense of flexibility, openness to experience, and efficiency. Workaholism and miserliness are also seen often in those with this personality disorder. Persons affected with this disorder may find it hard to relax, always feeling that time is running out for their activities, and that more effort is needed to achieve their goals. They may plan their activities down to the minute—a manifestation of the compulsive tendency to keep control over their environment and to dislike unpredictable events as elements beyond their control.[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsessive–compulsive_personality_disorder

 

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2 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

It sounds a bit like OCPD  (Obsessive compulsive personality disorder) but it's only a problem if it detrimentally affects your life and relationships. My mother is like this and I can't stand her behaviour anymore... it's like being with a robot. If you tick along ok, it's not a problem I would dwell on. People naturally fall on a spectrum from non-pathological orderliness to disorderliness.

 

Sounds like this might be an answer using the lower and of the OCPD spectrum. Say you see 500 identical Leica’s or Fender guitars (or flashlights) lying evenly somewhere in the factory...doesn’t this tickle your inner tickle a little bit? :P 

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One of my early life vainglorious achievements was to have been kicked out of Boy Cubs for failing the tidiness test.

Needless to say I have gone from strength to strength ever since   ;)

Edited by geordief
It was Cubs not Scouts

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2 minutes ago, geordief said:

One of my early life vainglorious achievements was to have been kicked out of Boy Scouts  for failing the tidiness test.

Needless to say I have gone from strength to strength ever since   ;)

I consider myself a tidy person but I am capable of adapting to the current mayhem that our 2,5 year old is serving us at home so I presume Im ok there. I had a thing for blowing things up for a while when I was in my early teens though, I blew up a tree by convincing my friend to drill a hole in his Dads backyard tree and placing a large CO2 cartridge full of gunpowder in it (which I manufactured myself in the garage) The tree died, nobody got hurt, we didnt see each other for a while...his Dad said Im an idiot,  my Dad agreed, everybody happy. 

Looks like I converted from being a pyromaniac to liking orderly lying things of the same kind. I guess I can live with that. 

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5 hours ago, koti said:

In my case I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter if the object is something of worth or not...whether they are a thousand iPhones or a thousand identical batteries I feel a certain type of satisfaction when looking at those. Is there something worth discussing here or am I ready to go see a psychiatrist? 

Do you get aroused at the library?

It could be a combination of the numbers and the order. It's pretty well known that most young kids will choose a hundred pennies over a fiver because of the numbers and weight. Did you ever play at lining things up in neat rows as a kid? 

I remember having about a dozen shiny ball bearings I played with when I was young. I came up with all kinds of things to do with them. Then one day my dad came home from work with a bag of about 50 more. I was in heaven! I loved having all those identical little bits. 

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14 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Do you get aroused at the library?

It could be a combination of the numbers and the order. It's pretty well known that most young kids will choose a hundred pennies over a fiver because of the numbers and weight. Did you ever play at lining things up in neat rows as a kid? 

I remember having about a dozen shiny ball bearings I played with when I was young. I came up with all kinds of things to do with them. Then one day my dad came home from work with a bag of about 50 more. I was in heaven! I loved having all those identical little bits. 

Honestly I never got aroused in a library :) 

This ones spooky though;  When I was 7 or 8 I had a steel ball from a ballbearing from somewhere and I loved it. One day my Dad brought 3 bearings home, each containig 5 balls. Using tools we dismantled them to get the balls out - best time of my life. 

My kid lines up things in rows since he was 12 months old, he still does it often now when he’s two and a half. He takes surprising care of the lining up process.

 

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5 hours ago, StringJunky said:

It sounds a bit like OCPD 

OCD crossed my mind, too, but it's not necessary for one to merely appreciate the orderliness koti describes. My instincts are that, while those with OCD will appreciate the order more than others will, even neurotypicals devoid of OCD tendencies can/will/do still appreciate it.

I suspect it has more to do with our tendency toward finding patterns everywhere, even where they don't necessarily exist. When something is ordered, it takes less cognitive load to process and thus uses less energy. We've likely developed a preference for this, a bit like we've evolved a preference for easy calories and sugar, etc.

Anyhow... Our innate human tendency toward patternicity is likely closer to the answer here, even though OCD is so self-evidently related.

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34 minutes ago, iNow said:

OCD crossed my mind, too, but it's not necessary for one to merely appreciate the orderliness koti describes. My instincts are that, while those with OCD will appreciate the order more than others will, even neurotypicals devoid of OCD tendencies can/will/do still appreciate it.

I suspect it has more to do with our tendency toward finding patterns everywhere, even where they don't necessarily exist. When something is ordered, it takes less cognitive load to process and thus uses less energy. We've likely developed a preference for this, a bit like we've evolved a preference for easy calories and sugar, etc.

Anyhow... Our innate human tendency toward patternicity is likely closer to the answer here, even though OCD is so self-evidently related.

Makes sense. 

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21 minutes ago, koti said:

Makes sense. 

Doesn’t mean I’m right, though ;)

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8 minutes ago, iNow said:

Doesn’t mean I’m right, though ;)

I think you are, it's just a matter of degree whether it's pathological or not  and, I suppose, I used the name of a disorder with that characteristic as a means to give a name  to that tendency. You called it "patternicity" which is fine I think as well.

Is a 'random pattern' an oxymoron.? :)

Edited by StringJunky

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40 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Is a 'random pattern' an oxymoron.?

Maybe we should ask Benoit Mandelbrot 

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6 minutes ago, iNow said:

Maybe we should ask Benoit Mandelbrot 

Yes, I suppoose that harks the question: Does true randomness exist... but that's another discussion. I was looking at it superficially really. :)

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7 hours ago, koti said:

Looks like I converted from being a pyromaniac to liking orderly lying things of the same kind. I guess I can live with that. 

I'm guessing you never squirted a line of dominoes with lighter fluid. Probably for the best. 

OTOH, if you're abnormally attracted to "orderly lying things of the same kind", you may be an American conservative. Much worse than OCPD.

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1 hour ago, Phi for All said:

OTOH, if you're abnormally attracted to "orderly lying things of the same kind", you may be an American conservative. Much worse than OCPD.

I always assumed its not the „orderly lying things” but teddy bear collecting, twirling competitions and dressing 5 year olds on a stage as grown women (whatever thats called) 

Edited by koti

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Deleted

Edited by iNow

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