I was wondering if anyone can provide some scientific explanation on why humans seem to like organising (cultural) items in arrangements such as lists, rankings, best-ofs etc. Some reference to scholarly literature on the topic would be also appreciated. Thanks!


1 Answer 1


Taxonomic classification seeks to identify similarities and differences between entities to assist in conceptualizing and communicating (Bailey, 1994).

Rouse (2004) discusses Motivational Systems Theory which seeks to explain why we strive to perform, a component of which is learning, understanding and communicating.

Bailey, K. D. (1994) Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences: Typologies and taxonomies. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412986397

Rouse, K. A. G. (2004) Beyond Maslow’s hierarchy of needs what do people strive for? Performance Improvement, 43(10), 27–31. doi:10.1002/pfi.4140431008


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