Are You Emotionally Attached To Your Favourite Coffee Mug? | A Very Common Obsession

Have you heard about this phenomenon called "the endowment effect".

No? Before I explain what it is, I would like you to think for a second about the last time you had a coffee or a tea

Can you picture the cup, mug or container you drank from? Good.

Now think about any other beverage besides coffee or tea you've had in the past 24 hours. Do you remember what those drinking cups looked like? Not as easy to recall, is it?

In comparison to other types of drinking vessels, there just seems to be something special about coffee mugs and our relationship to them. 

Your Name On Mug With Floral Theme

Make This Mug Your Own | Personalize Floral Mug Design

This Food & Drink columnist at the Telegraph, says that in case of a fire, she would run through the flames to save her mug collection, (not her photo albums or her jewelry - her coffee cup collection).


"Each chipped, slightly stained, unfashionable piece of crockery is of sentimental value to me. To choose between them would be like asking me to pick a favourite child."


Don't Cry Over Spilled Coffee And Broken Mugs

Most of us would really feel bummed out and not know what to do if our favourite coffee mug broke. Good thing about working in a mug printing shop is that if your favourite mug breaks - you can always print a new personal mug.

Did your favourite mug actually break? Ask us to recreate the design and print a new one for you!

According to one study, nearly 60 percent of those surveyed stated that they had an emotional bond to their favourite mug. 38 percent said that they would never even let anyone else use their mug. 

Favourite Coffee Mug Design From What The Mug Toronto

Here's where the endowment effect comes into play.

The endowment effect is the hypothesis that you ascribe more value to things simply because YOU own them. 

Your Mug Collection Tells Your Story

Research shows, that most of us tend to think that giving away a mug that we possess is more painful than it is pleasurable to acquire a new mug.

Your mug serves you well. It has been there through the good times and the bad. Other people may associate you with your mug - family members or co-workers see you with your mug nearly every day. You might express your identity or state of mind through your mug. 

Different Moods Coffee Cups

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Scientists have used coffee mugs specifically for experiments on the endowment effect.   

The first experiment showed - this is quite interesting actually - that when you are shopping for coffee mugs (in our Toronto mug printing shop for example), and you happen to find a mug that is identical to a mug you already have at home, you are willing to pay a higher price for that mug.

Because you already have a relationship to a mug just like that one, you want to initiate a relationship with its twin mug too. 

For the second experiment, scientists had buyers’ brokers and sellers’ brokers agree on a fixed price for a mug. But once they started trading mugs, both brokers were willing to pay a higher price if they already owned mugs that were identical to the ones they were trading. 

The Things You Own Become a Part of You

Reading further about how us humans create an emotional connection with inanimate objects, I start to reflect on my own mug collection. 

Like how I use this small coffee cup with an Esteri Tomula print from the Finnish tableware design company Arabia when I have mugs to design and need to feel creative.

Favourite Coffee Cup From Arabia Blue Flower Print

When friends come over, I like to serve them coffee in this mug with a picture of a gorilla on one side...

Cup With Picture of Science Book Gorilla from Toronto Gift Store What The Mug

and then see how long it takes for them to spot on the other side, just how silly these gorilla facts are.  

Clever Mug With Satirical Gorilla Facts Printed On It From Junction Gift Shop What The Mug

Order Now | Funny Facts About Gorillas Mug

Show Us Your Mug Collection

Mugs can help channel your mood or lift it. Do you just like me, also have a special mug for every occasion (like a morning mug, a meeting mug, an evening tea mug and so on)?

What does your favourite mug look like? We want to see the mugs you are obsessed with! 

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