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What You Didn't Know About Your Favourite Mug

by Amelie J Rose published on 28 Feb 2017

Do you have a favourite mug? If you answer "yes", you’ve got that in common with almost 60 percent of the population.

Research by Heinz revealed last year that almost two-thirds of us have a favourite mug, and we are extremely attached to them. Around one-third of people reported that they would be "devastated" if their favourite mug broke, with 40 percent describing their special mugs as "irreplaceable".

It's of no consequence whether that mug is chipped, faded or worn - the emotional attachment remains just as strong. We get attached to mugs for a variety of reasons that are rooted extremely deeply in the human psyche.

1. Memories

Our attachment to mugs in particular tends to be a lot stronger than it is to other inanimate objects. More people have a favourite mug than a favourite plate or teaspoon, for example; and it's generally acceptable to admit to a certain mug being your favourite. It is thought that this is because mugs are more often bought as souvenirs or given as gifts, and therefore they evoke strong feelings of the time when they were bought or the person who bought them for us. Because of this they provide us with subconscious links to the past, creating a feeling of comfort and strengthening our sense of identity whenever we drink from them.

2. Ownership

Part of the reason we cherish a particular mug so much is simply because it is ours. This is what psychologists refer to as the "Endowment Effect" – an object take on a value far greater than its actual worth to us because we feel a possessive sense of ownership about it. The Endowment Effect can be seen first-hand in the workplace, when someone else is found drinking from your favourite mug. One-sixth of those questioned in the Heinz survey revealed that they would "sulk" if this happened. Even more amazingly, 38 percent of us would actually consider hiding our favourite mugs at work to prevent others drinking from them!

3. Hot Drinks are Comforting

Another reason why we get attached to mugs more than other utensils is because we associate them with the comfort we get from a hot drink. Many of actually have cravings for coffee or tea, and associate our favourite mugs with the relief of those cravings being satisfied.

Research has also shown that holding a warm mug in our hands evokes feelings of warmth towards other people. The mug really is an all-round feel-good item!

4. What's in a Name?

According to language expert Professor David Crystal, we even have a greater emotional attachment to the word "mug" than we do to similar words such as "cup", which is more often used to describe the contents rather than the vessel itself.

"One slurps a cup of soup for example," explains Professor Crystal. "It is also associated with drinking at a social event. This isn't the case with 'mug', which is used to describe the object and not the contents or occasion."

Whatever your reasons for loving your favourite mug, it's a relationship that's likely to last for quite some time. We tend to keep our favourite mugs for an average of five years. With so many designs to choose from at Express Mugs, why not take a look? It could be the start of a beautiful new friendship.

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