The word cherishing is frequently used in our daily jargons. It is also very often mentioned in empirical literature on cherished possessions. However, despite the relevance of the term in the empirical literature on cherished possessions, very little is known about the way it operates in people’s lives. The only link with cherishing happens to be the studies conducted in individualistic cultures on cherished possessions. Besides, there is hardly any consensus on how cherishing operates in collectivistic culture such as India owing to the scarce literature available on the topic. Hence, the present study addresses the gap in the literature with the objective to explore the concept of cherishing. The present study examines cherishing through qualitative investigation by using semi-structured interviews in India. Forty-eight participants were interviewed for the study. Analysis of the data based on grounded theory techniques revealed three major themes: (i) the attributes of cherishing, (ii) functions of cherishing and (iii) the objects of cherishing. The attributes of cherishing convey a sense of protectiveness, a tendency to care, affective orientation and reminiscence. The functions reveal the benefits experienced from cherishing. The objects of cherishing convey the targets towards which one experiences cherishing. Recommendations for further study, along with theoretical and practical implications of the study findings, are also discussed.


Cherishing, Attachment, Cherished Possessions, Cherished Objects, Qualitative Research

Author Bio(s)

Pratishtha Bhattacharyya is a doctoral research scholar and perusing her PhD under the supervision of Rabindra Kumar Pradhan in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. She works in the field of positive psychology. She can be contacted at: pratishthabhattacharyya@gmail.com.

Rabindra Kumar Pradhan, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India. He has 20 years of teaching and research experience in the field social and organisational psychology. His current researches focus of positive psychological phenomenon such as subjective well-being and happiness, psychological empowerment, workplace spirituality, positive leadership, psychological capital and emotional intelligence, etc. He has published more than 60 research papers in reputed national and international peer reviewed journals. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: rabi2020@gmail.com / rkpradhan@hss.iitkgp.ac.in.


We gratefully acknowledge the voluntary participation of people who took part in the present study for their timely help and cooperation. We sincerely thank all the reviewers for their valuable comments for improving the quality of this paper.

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