Inside the Head of a Collector: Neuropsychological Forces at Play


Lucia Marquand (2019), 192 pages


Mueller, Shirley M.

Number of Pages



English, French

Publication Year


Original Language


Categories and Tags

Styvt band

Hardcover, Dust Jacket, Collecting, Psychology

Dewey Subjects

Activities > Collecting > Collecting > Recreational and performing arts > Recreational and performing arts > The arts


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). For the first time, scientific research in neuro- and behavioural economics allows us to turn this around.

Neuroeconomics studies the biological foundation of economic thought, while behavioural economics incorporates insights from psychology and other social sciences into examining monetary behaviour. Using examples from these disciplines, Shirley M. Mueller, MD, relates her experiences as a serious collector and neuroscientist to examine different behavioural traits that characterize collectors.

The contents of this book are cutting-edge, unique and sure to get attention. Mueller breaks new ground in an area not previously explored. Her information is relevant not only for collectors but also for colleges, universities which teach collection management, and museum staff that interact with collectors and dealers of objects desired by collectors. Heavily illustrated with ceramics from Mueller’s collection and packed with helpful information, this book will become a vital resource.



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