Why Miniature Things Make Us Happy

March 29, 2022

Why Miniature Things Make Us Happy

There are many things in life that we love. This includes watching sunsets on the beach, drinking ice cream on a sunny day and looking at adorable photos of kittens. But if there is one thing that we are obsessed with, it is miniature items. Because we love miniature items so much we even decided to base our whole brand around them, which has only made us fall in love with the concept even more. Here are just some of the many reasons that we love miniature items, that we are sure that you will be able to relate to.

The images included in this article are taken from installations we made to present our matchboxes at a trade show, celebrating all things miniature!

Miniature art gallery
Figures at an art gallery, admiring artwork made up of hundreds of our matchbox cover designs. The central painting is an adaption of one of a Lowry painting. Lowry was famous for this matchstick men.

Cuteness psychology

Amanda Levison says that cuteness psychology revolves around the idea that we find items cute that require care from us. This leads to us being more attracted to small objects, not always in a way that we feed an instinctual reason to nurture the object but because they make us feel a general feeling of positivity.

This is seen also when you are looking after babies and small animals such as puppies and kittens. This is because when you see these adorable looking living beings a hormone known as oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is also known as the love hormone, and it is released alongside Dopamine, which is the hormone that triggers happiness and positive emotional responses. But these hormones are not only released when you are looking after babies or small animals, but when you see anything tiny. So it makes sense that miniature things make us happy, because this hormone causes us to fall in love with anything that is tiny.

Our brains are also led to feeling a sense of awe of tiny objects because they are out of the ordinary, as they are not something you see frequently in your day to day life. Your mind understands that the item you are seeing is something that is common within your life, but it sees it as unique due to the miniature size. Marie Manly says that this leads us to finding the object adorable. 

Hot Stuff Rowing Competition
Based on our infamous Hot Stuff Matchbox, this installation involved creating a rowing competition with chillies as kayaks. The river is a melted ice lolly.


The feeling of being in control 

One amazing thing about tiny items, is that they’re nice and they are non threatening. Most humans, if not all, love to have control over their lives to a certain degree. When approached with something threatening or overwhelming, we tend to act more irrational leaving to us feeling stressed or anxious. On the other hand, when we are in contact with something small, we have the opposite reaction, and actually feel a great sense of control and power. This is due to the fact we find it non-threatening, which in turn can lead to us feeling more confident. 

 

Sense of fulfilment and connection

Miniature objects also lead to us feeling a sense of fulfilment from life goals that we have. This is because they are symbolic stand-ins for the items in life that we want that we can not always reach. This is why many people build boat and car figurines, as they are replacements for much more expensive objects. Having a miniature copy of these items can lead to amazing emotional rewards such as fulfilment, that we may not be able to ever achieve otherwise.

They can also bring about a sense of connection to important life time events. A reason why souvenir shops are such popular tourist attractions is because people can pick up a miniature sized object that replicates a memory they have just experienced. For example, if you propose to someone in London, you might want to pick up miniature sized figures of the city's famous buildings and attractions. This then can lead to you forming an attachment to the object that can bring about a response of pleasure and satisfaction.

Gentle Caretakers

Once we find an object cute, it makes us have more of a reason to protect the item with our affection, which eventually leads us to become caretakers for it. Hiroshi Nittono and his colleagues found out that cuteness leads us to perform better in times where we need to be careful. 

Once a kid, always a kid 

Another reason why we love miniature things is because they remind us of our childhood. Childhood for many people is associated with warm memories, which is why a lot of peoples comfort shows and music, is that of what they associate with their childhood. We also attach certain items, that are usually small, with connotations of comfort. An example of this would be dolls and toy cars. These items lead us to subconsciously associate all tiny objects with happy feelings and comfort.

Tiny detailing in miniature objects catch our attention

Our brains are known to be drawn to immense amounts of detailing because we are captivated by it. Miniature items are usually compact and therefore filled up with lots of detailing within a small amount of space. This attracts us to small items even more because we are drawn to touching and viewing items that hold a lot of information in a small amount of space. 

So for anyone that has ever wondered why we have such a big obsession with putting miniature items into matchboxes, hopefully the above has made it a bit more understandable. There is also a big chance that you feel the same way, and I'm sure now you will have a greater understanding as to why you are so drawn to miniature items.

That being said, if you are looking for any more small items to add to your collection, make sure to check out our website here, as we have tons of them that are sure to fill you with joy!

Mini installation of a crime scene
Based on one of our original chilli matchboxes, this installation involves a crime scene where someone has been crushed by a bar of chilli chocolate. Forensics are on hand to photograph the scene and check out the suspicious looking bottle of Carolina Reaper. 

Emma & Hayley from Marvling Bros Ltd

 Emma and Hayley from Marvling Bros, celebrating their obsession with all things miniature!

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