Early research

It is truly surprising that so little research has been carried out on something has been around and people have been aware of for centuries.  

In 1908 Sigmund Freud links hoarding to the anal stage of development in humans.  He theorises  that the loss of control during development was a traumatic experience and that the collector is trying to gain back not only control but 'possessions' that were lost so many years ago.

First sightings

The term 'compulsive hoarding' first used to describe collecting in humans as anecdotal evidence in a 1966 study by Bolman and Katz.  

In 1978, Furby points out 'sometimes there is a need for an object, a need that begins often at an early age, whether it is a specific toy, a blanket, or other possession.'

Early papers

The first major research paper we can find on compulsive hoarding was published 1987 by D Greenberg.   

However, it wasn't until the early 1990s that major empirical studies and research were beginning to be conducted.  These were primarily by Randy O Frost, Gail Sketekee, David F Tolin and Tamara L Hartl.

A definition

In 1996 the definition of compulsive hoarding, which is still used today, was created by Randy O Frost and Tamara L Hartl. 

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