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... From a developmental perspective, the preschool years offer children an influx of experience with resource distribution. Dividing up snacks, protecting treasured possessions, and taking turns with limited materials like toys are some of children's earliest experiences with questions such as who owns, needs, and wants what (Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013;Olson & Spelke, 2008). Interestingly, adults' perceptions of their own access to resources can play an important role in their attitudes about what is fair for others (Brown-Iannuzzi, Lundberg, Kay, & Payne, 2015). ...
... Reasoning coding. Participants' reasoning was later coded into one of two mutually exclusive conceptual categories expected based on previous research (Nancekivell et al., 2013;Rutland & Killen, 2017). Table 3 provides the label and definition for each category as well as example responses. ...
... Importantly, however, these differences emerged only when children considered a complex scenario in which more than one decision appeared to be reasonable and not when they considered the issues of ownership and equality in isolation. These findings reflect the strength and prevalence of ownership and equality concerns in young children's daily lives (Nancekivell et al., 2013;Olson & Spelke, 2008) and point to a limit on the impact of perceived access to resources on young children's thinking about fairness. ...
Article
This study examined how young children's (N = 101, Mage = 4.14 years, SD = 0.57) perceptions of their families' access to resources affect their views on others' use and distribution of familiar items. Using a simple measure involving stickers, children identified their families as either lower, higher, or in the middle in access to resources. Then, children evaluated a scenario in which an individual took crayons from one person and gave them to another in order to establish equality. Children who saw themselves as higher in access to resources determined that this was "not okay" (ownership took priority). By contrast, children who saw themselves as lower in access to resources or in the middle did not consistently prioritize equality or ownership. Thus, not only did young children think about how much or how little their families had, but these perceptions also played a role in their reasoning about the fair treatment of others.
... Children are reported to understand this construct from a young age, to be able to employ protective strategies of physical objects and show resistance or denial to share or lend those objects. Throughout their development, children develop the same understanding not only for physical possessions but for ideas too (Blake & Harris, 2009;Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013). Currently, we know little on whether, and if so how, the understanding of ownership of physical objects transfers to ownership of digital traces, or the extent to which children can employ the same protective practices for their personal digital data is limited. ...
... We next first briefly review what is known about children's conceptualization of ownership and then present what has been examined so far about the ownership of digital data. Children are reported to be concerned with, reason about, and to understand the concept of ownership at a very young age (Kanngiesser & Hood, 2014;Nancekivell et al., 2013). Fig. 1 presents how children's understanding of psychological ownership develops as they mature. ...
... Toddlers can understand and identify what they own or what belongs to others (Friedman, Pesowski, & Goulding, 2018;Nancekivell et al., 2013); from the age of two children understand that an object belongs to the first person seen to possess it, can protect their possessions and are less likely to share them (Friedman et al., 2018;Kanngiesser & Hood, 2014;Van de Vondervoort, Meinz, & Friedman, 2017); from the age of three and above, children are able to track ownership of identical looking objects (Friedman et al., 2018;Kamleitner & Mitchell, 2018); by the age of four and above children understand that ownership is acquired by making, finding or buying something (Friedman et al., 2018;Kamleitner & Mitchell, 2018). In addition, by the age of five, children can appreciate different ownership rights and identify the difference between legitimate (gift giving) and illegitimate (stealing) transfers of ownership (Blake & Harris, 2009). ...
Article
The proliferation of information technology has enabled the emergence of different types of smart technologies, such as digitally enhanced toys and self-tracking wearable devices. Even though the rapid global spread of such devices has raised concerns about privacy, little is known about how children perceive such risks, while the children’s voices on the topic are rarely heard. The broader goal of our work is to understand how children can be empowered through scaffolded inquiry experiences to reflect on their own use of smart, self-tracking devices and gain a deeper understanding of the digital infrastructure and the political economy of digital data. This study examined children’s awareness of their digital data and issues of online privacy. At the same time, we examined the construct of psychological ownership in relation to children’s personal digital data to further understand students’ disclosure practices. We report on data from 63 fifth and sixth grade students to investigate students’ awareness of how their tracked data could be used and their conceptualization of data ownership. To achieve this, we designed and implemented a learning module that employed the use of activity trackers by elementary school students. We collected data via individual pre- and post-implementation interviews, and group discussions during the implementations. Data were analyzed qualitatively using the theoretical lens of psychological ownership and frameworks of data literacy. Results suggest that students demonstrate ownership of self-tracked data, ignoring the shared ownership with other parties, but this is associated with their limited awareness of the complex infrastructure of the digital environment and the commercial exploitation of their personal digital data by others. Also, results showed that students employ a set of criteria to concede data ownership to others . Findings suggest that actions should be taken to help children develop a nuanced understanding of the data economy and its impact on themselves. This study provides directions for future research and can also inform efforts to design educational materials aiming to develop students’ understanding of online data privacy.
... Past research has provided important insights into children's normative understanding of ownership and property rights (Nancekivell, Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013;Neary & Friedman, 2014;Pesowski, Kanngiesser, & Friedman, 2019;Riedl, Jensen, Call, & Tomasello, 2015;Rossano et al., 2011;Vaish et al., 2011). These studies show that starting at age 3, children understand the concept of ownership, judge the violation of ownership norms as wrong, and punish third parties when they violate ownership norms. ...
... To establish ownership, we used verbal testimony, placed the resources into the respective character's room, and emphasized that the characters were the first to possess the resources (cf. Blake, Ganea, & Harris, 2012;Friedman & Neary, 2008;Nancekivell et al., 2013). Children then witnessed four redistributions of resources by a third party: (1) Robin Hood: the third party takes away resources from the rich and gives them to the poor, (2) Matthew: the third party takes away resources from the poor and gives them to the rich, (3) the third party takes away resources from the rich and keeps them for themselves, and (4) the third party takes away resources from the poor and keeps them for themselves. ...
... This explains their tendency to evaluate redistributions overall negatively. Consistently, previous research has demonstrated the early presence of strong ownership norms in younger preschoolers (e.g., Nancekivell et al., 2013;Neary & Friedman, 2014;Riedl et al., 2015;Rossano et al., 2011;Vaish et al., 2011). However, as ownership norms are already well established in the early preschool age, they might not undergo major developmental changes in the years thereafter. ...
Article
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How should one respond to ubiquitous economic inequalities? The legend Robin Hood suggests to take away from the wealthy to benefit the poor, while another strategy holds the opposite (Matthew effect). Here, 3- to 8-year-old children (N = 140) witnessed protagonists performing redistributions (e.g., Robin Hood, Matthew) of necessary and luxury resources between a wealthy and a poor child. Results showed that, with age, children increasingly approved of Robin Hood and increasingly disapproved of Matthew. In addition, reasoning about others’ welfare mediated the effect of age on children’s evaluation of Robin Hood, but only for necessary resources. This suggests that children regard restorative justice actions as a strategy to address social inequalities when it increases the welfare of disadvantaged agents.
... Concern with ownership and possessive behavior is evident already in young children, and their conflicts are often disputes about property and the related ownership rights (Ross, 1996;Ross, Conant, & Vickar, 2011). Yet, research has examined children's sense of ownership of physical objects (see Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013), and of ideas and intellectual property (Shaw, Li, & Olson, 2012;Yang, Shaw, Garduno, & Olson, 2014), much less is known about children's judgment of land ownership (Zebian & Rochat, 2012) and how they determine ownership of a physical place. Ownership is a human universal (Brown, 1991) and a developing sense of territoriality might have evolutionary roots (Hinde, 1970;Taylor, 1988). ...
... Second, concern with ownership is evident in young children but the evidence is about ownership of objects (Nancekivell et al., 2013) and therefore it is unclear whether young children think that land can be owned, how they reason about land ownership and how this develops. We focused on older children and future studies could examine, for example, at which age young children develop an understanding that a particular place can be owned and the type of information that they use to infer ownership and the related entitlements. ...
... In support of our hypotheses we found that for both new ownership and borrowing without permission factors, genetics accounted for a significant proportion of response variance. This is consistent with the view that our ownership reasoning has an innate basis, which has been postulated by a number of authors (e.g., Stake, 2004;Brosnan, 2011;Nancekivell, Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013). ...
... In prior studies, researchers had posed an innate source of ownership reasoning based on observed similarities across species, or between age ranges, as well as the early emergence and central importance of property from such a young age (e.g., Bakeman, & Brownlee, 1982, Stake, 2004Brosnan, 2011;Nancekivell, Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013). However, these authors had generally limited their discussion to the establishment and respect for new ownership. ...
Article
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Vast similarities in ownership behaviour across species and age ranges have been used to support the notion of an innate basis for ownership reasoning. Using a twin study paradigm, this is the first study to investigate the extent to which genetic and environmental factors contribute to individual differences in ownership reasoning. 65 pairs of adult monozygotic (MZ) twins, and 16 pairs of same-sex dizygotic (DZ) twins completed a 24-item ownership questionnaire, which included items on (1) new ownership and (2) appropriate transfers of ownership. For both of these factors, it was found that MZ correlations were larger than DZ correlations. Univariate model fitting analyses indicated that genetic and non-shared environmental factors could account for all individual variation on the two factors, with shared environmental factors contributing non-significantly; heritabilities ranged from .36-.57 over both factors. The results support the notion that individual differences in ownership reasoning have a significant genetic basis. It is proposed that future research look into the many other facets of ownership reasoning, and to explore their relationship and mediation via genetically influenced traits.
... Çocuklar, erken yaşlardan itibaren çeşitli ipuçları kulla-narak bir nesnenin sahibi olup olmadığını ve eğer var ise sahibini tespit edebilmektedir (Brownell ve ark.., 2013;Fasig, 2000;Rodgon ve Rashman, 1976). Ancak bu süreçte sosyal normların önemli bir etkisi olduğu görülmektedir (Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort ve Friedman, 2013;Neary, Friedman ve Burnstein, 2009). Bu durum çocukların davranışlarının şekillenmesindeki toplumsal etkileri ortaya koymaktadır. ...
... Bu konudaki diğer tartışmalara mülkiyet ve dil-kültür ilişkisi başlığı altında tekrar değinilecektir.Mülkiyette Dil ve Kültür EtkisiMülkiyet anlayışı sosyal süreçleri etkilediği gibi, sosyal süreçler de mülkiyet anlayışını etkilemektedir. Sosyal süreçler, mülkiyet anlayışının, aktarımının ve avantajlarının anlaşılmasında rol oynayan bir etmendir ve kültür ile iç içe, doğrudan kültürden etkilenen özelliktedir(Malcolm, Defeyter ve Friedman, 2013;Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort ve Friedman, 2013; Yang ve ark., 2014). Bu nedenle, insanların sahip olduğu nesnelere yönelik düşüncelerini ve davranışlarını önemli ölçüde etkileyen, insan toplumlarının yapısına derinlemesine işlemiş bir sosyal kurum olan mülkiyet kavramının, içinde yaşanılan kültürden etkilendiğini düşünmek mümkündür.Psikoloji Çalışmaları -Studies in Psychology Cilt/Volume: 41, Sayı/Issue: 2, 2021 ...
Article
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Ownership is a relation of belonging between a person and an object that is accepted by other people. Knowing to whom an object belongs allows children to differentiate between what is theirs and what is not. This review aims to explore the development processes of ownership during early childhood, the basic dimensions of the concept of ownership, and the relationship of ownership development with language and culture. The multidimensional structure of ownership includes the kinds of objects that are owned, how ownership decisions are made, and how property rights and privileges are transferred. Most two-year-olds can recognize who owns an object and determine ownership, but only after the fifth birthday can children determine an owner not by desire but by transfer rules. In studies reporting developmental differences in ownership, the effect of age is strikingly inconsistent. However, ownership should be addressed in early childhood within the scope of rapidly changing social cognitive processes. A child needs to understand the abstract relationship between an object and an individual and represent that relationship in their mind. Therefore, this review study discusses whether self-development, mental representation, and other cognitive abilities are among the underlying factors of ownership. In addition, the possible effects of language and culture on ownership, both directly and cognitively, are also mentioned. Although ownership is exciting in social structure and in built-upon cognitive skills recognized in the literature, its development and constituent elements have yet to be examined sufficiently. Understanding ownership’s developmental pattern might illuminate meaning attributed to ownership and objects (extended-self hypothesis). Since no research has addressed this concept in a Turkish sample to date, this review aims to introduce the notion of ownership, its developmental characteristics, and its basic structures for researchers in the field. Keywords: Ownership, ownership transfer, ownership rights, early childhood, development, social cognitive processes
... Auch für rein ideelle Güter kann Besitzgefühl entwickelt werden. Beispielsweise haben Menschen auch bei Ideen oftmals das Gefühl, dass es sich um schützenswerte Besitztümer handelt (Baer & Brown, 2012 (Furby, 1980;Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013). Das macht durchaus Sinn. ...
Chapter
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Die psychologische Erfahrung von Besitz ist für Menschen und deren Gesellschaften zentral. Grundthemen, die mit Besitz verbunden sind, sind die Erfahrung und das Ausüben von Kontrolle und das Übernehmen von Verantwortung. Basis für die Entwicklung von psychologischem Besitz ist die Erarbeitung und das Begreifbarmachen von Objekten. In diesem Beitrag wird die These vorgebracht, dass gegenwärtige gesellschaftliche und technologische Entwicklungen diese Basis zunehmend untergraben und es zu einer graduellen Verschiebung oder Auflösung der Grenze zwischen besitzendem Subjekt und besessenem Objekt kommt. Da diese Grenze für die Besitzausübung notwendig ist, plädiert dieser Beitrag letztlich dafür diese als selbstverständlich erachtete Grenze neu zu beleuchten.
... Through its experiential nature, ownership holds a truly prominent role in the human condition (e.g., Bertram 2013 ;Hall 1990;Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, and Friedman 2013). More than 70 per cent of six month old infants already "have" a favorite object (Furby and Wilke 1982) and by their second birthday the enabling power of the simple word "mine" has been discovered (Rochat 2010). ...
... This was not what we had predicted, and it might be the case that the moral transgression of stealing might not have been apparent enough to trigger a more emotional response in 3-year-olds. Indeed, research on children's understanding of ownership shows a significant development between 3 and 5 years of age, and 3-year-olds base their understanding of who owns an object mainly on who takes first possession of it (Blake & Harris, 2009;Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013). In the current study, the experimenter explained who the reward belonged to, but it was still the puppet who took first possession of it and not the rightful owner (child or third party). ...
Article
From an early age, children can talk meaningfully about differences between moral and conventional norms. But does their understanding of these differences manifest itself in their actual behav-ioral and emotional reactions to norm violations? And do children discriminate between norm violations that affect either themselves or a third party? Two studies (N = 224) were conducted in which children observed conventional game rule violations and moral transgressions that either disadvantaged themselves directly or disadvantaged an absent third party. Results revealed that 3-and 5-year-olds evaluated both conventional and moral transgressions as normative breaches and protested against them. However, 5-year-olds also clearly discriminated these types of transgressions along further dimensions in that (a) they tattled largely on the moral violation and less on the conventional violation and (b) they showed stronger emotional reactions to moral violations compared to conventional violations. The 3-year-olds' responses to moral and conventional transgressions, however, were less discriminatory, and these younger children responded rather similarly to both kinds of violations. Importantly, most children intervened both as victims of the transgression and as unaffected third parties alike, providing strong evidence for their agent-neutral understanding of social norms.
... It thus may come as no surprise that, across cultures, ownership tends to be the first socio-economic concept children learn to understand (Furby, 1980;Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013). Due to its dual nature ownership serves several important functions and affects us incessantly (Russell W Belk, 1991;Friedman & Ross, 2011). ...
Chapter
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Experiencing ownership is central to what it means to be human and it is central to the functioning of societies. One notion that is inherently tied to ownership is the notion of boundaries around the owned target and between owners and non-owners. These boundaries enable humans to claim, to exert control over and to take responsibility for that which is owned. All of which are necessary to motivate and enable sustainable behaviors. In this contribution I highlight ways in which current societal and technological trends, in particular the fast paced movement towards encompassing digitalization of life, erode the boundaries necessary for the experience of ownership. I further discuss how this erosion may not only hamper feelings of ownership but even go so far as to shift the perception of humans from owners to those being owned; thus, undermining humans perceived capability as responsible agents. In response I suggest a necessary transformation in terms of digital boundaries and empowerment, potentially taking the shape of digital blueprints and agents.
... In E2's absence E1 shows C how the boxes can be to E2 because, for example, E1 only dares move it secretively in E2's absence. Children this age have already an acute sense of ownership (Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013). (2) The condition also leaves unquestioned that E2 takes great interest in her toy. ...
Article
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This article challenges the claim that young children’s helping responses in Buttelmann, Carpenter, and Tomasello’s (2009) task are based on ascribing a false belief to a mistaken agent. In our first Study 18- to 32-month old children (N=28) were more likely to help find a toy in the false belief than in the true belief condition. In Study 2, with 54 children of the same age, we assessed the authors’ mentalist interpretation of this result against an alternative teleological interpretation that does not make the assumption of belief ascription. The data speak in favor of our alternative. Children’s social competency is based more on inferences about what is likely to happen in a particular situation and on objective reasons for action than on inferences about agents’ mental states. We also discuss the need for testing serious alternative interpretations of claims about early belief understanding.
... Legal scholars and political philosophers have written extensively about questions of personal ownership ("mine": e.g., Merrill, 1998;Rose, 1985;Snare, 1972), and there is empirical research on personal psychological ownership in managerial and organizational sciences (see Pierce & Jussila, 2011), sociology (e.g., Carruthers & Ariovich, 2004;Lyman & Scott, 1967), (political) geography (e.g., Murphy, 1990Murphy, , 2002Stead, 2015), developmental psychology (see Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013), and social psychology (e.g., Beggan & Brown, 1994;De Dreu & Van Knippenberg, 2005;Ye & Gawronski, 2016). However, the concept of collective psychological ownership has been largely ignored, although psychological ownership manifest itself not only at the personal level but also at the collective level ("ours") (Furby, 1980;Pierce & Jussila, 2011). ...
Article
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Whereas much social psychological research has studied the in-group and out-group implications of social categorization and collective identity ("we"), little research has examined the nature and relevance of collective psychological ownership ("ours") for intergroup relations. We make a case for considering collective psychological ownership as an important source of intergroup tensions. We do so by integrating theory and research from various social sciences, and we draw out implications for future social psychological research on intergroup relations. We discuss collective psychological ownership in relation to the psychology of possessions, marking behavior, intergroup threats, outgroup exclusion, and in-group responsibility. We suggest that the social psychological processes discussed apply to a range of ownership objects (territory, buildings, cultural artifacts) and various intergroup settings, including international, national, and local contexts, and in organizations and communities. We conclude by providing directions for future research in different intergroup contexts.
... It thus may come as no surprise that, across cultures, ownership tends to be the first socio-economic concept children learn to understand (Furby 1980;Nancekivell et al. 2013). Due to its dual nature, ownership serves several important functions and affects us incessantly (Belk 1991;Friedman and Ross 2011). ...
Chapter
Im Personalmanagement dominiert in Theorie wie Praxis bis heute eine „Performance Orientierung“. Praktiken des Personalmanagements sollen die Effektivität und Effizienz des Einsatzes der menschlichen Arbeitskraft optimieren. Als Resultat, so das Versprechen, ist das Personalmanagement direkt oder indirekt entscheidender Treiber für den finanziellen Erfolg des Unternehmens. Gemäß der ökonomischen Theorie ist dabei das Leitmotiv die Maximierung des Gewinns. Ungeachtet der Problematik der empirischen Einlösung des normativ Geforderten mehren sich auf verschiedensten Ebenen die Stimmen, die unternehmerische Tätigkeit und damit auch das Personalmanagement eingebettet in gesellschaftliche Zusammenhänge zu sehen und die Vielzahl der an der ökonomischen Produktion Beteiligten oder von ihr Betroffenen mit ins Kalkül zu nehmen. Prominenter Ausdruck ist das sogenannte „Nachhaltige Personalmanagement“. Es fordert angesichts bisheriger Verwerfungen, dass Unternehmen neben den ökonomischen auch soziale wie ökologische Ziele zu verfolgen und zu verantworten haben („Triple Bottom Line“). In aller Regel werden dafür die entsprechenden Aktivitäten zur Annäherung an die erweiterte Zielsetzung in Nachhaltigkeitsberichten ausgewiesen, die gleichsam erkennen lassen, dass die bisherige Form des Wirtschaftens zwar korrigiert, aber im Grunde nicht verändert wird. Allerdings finden sich auch Organisationen, die Nachhaltigkeit glauben nur dadurch erreichen zu können, dass sie ihre Art des Wirtschaftens eingedenk der gesellschaftlichen Konsequenzen jeden Wirtschaftens transformieren. Diesen gilt mit Blick auf ihr Personalmanagement unsere Aufmerksamkeit.
... Through its experiential nature, ownership holds a truly prominent role in the human condition (e.g., Bertram 2013 ;Hall 1990;Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, and Friedman 2013). More than 70 per cent of six month old infants already "have" a favorite object (Furby and Wilke 1982) and by their second birthday the enabling power of the simple word "mine" has been discovered (Rochat 2010). ...
... These findings are also important because they suggest that children are sensitive to when other people are deprived of their property. This finding is broadly consistent with previous findings showing that 3-year-olds are sensitive to other people's ownership rights (e.g., Rossano et al., 2011; for a review see Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013), though some studies have found that children this age are more concerned with their own ownership rights (Kanngiesser & Hood, 2014). The findings likewise raise questions about the developmental relation between understanding of ownership and understanding of emotions. ...
... Indeed, young children distinguish between contexts where parents and teachers are legitimate authorities regulating rules (e.g., in the case of moral rules) and contexts where they have personal authority or autonomy to make their own decisions (Laupa & Turiel, 1993;Nucci & Weber, 1995). At around the same age, children can reason that even a child has authority over things he or she owns and that authority enables the child to make decisions about who can use an object (Friedman & Neary, 2008;Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013). Thus, one of the aims of our study was to empirically investigate whether children consider issues of authority when deciding who can change rules. ...
... Researchers have argued that even adults and young children who are not familiar with property laws have an intuitive understanding of ownership and make ownership judgments based on property principles in law, such as first possession and labor (Locke, 1690(Locke, /1978Epstein, 1978). Adults and preschoolers tend to perceive that an unowned object belongs to the person who first possessed it (Friedman and Neary, 2008;Friedman et al., 2013;Nancekivell et al., 2013), and acknowledge that ownership can be transferred via labor to a modifier or a creator (Kanngiesser et al., 2010;Levene et al., 2015). Two-year-olds can use verbal testimony to identify the owner, attributing a toy to the person who claims ownership of it (Blake and Harris, 2011;Blake et al., 2012). ...
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This study aimed to examine whether Chinese preschoolers understand that ownership can be transferred in different contexts. The study participants were 3- to 5-year-old Chinese children (n = 96) and adults (n = 34). With four scenarios that contained different transfer types (giving, stealing, losing, and abandoning), participants were asked four questions about ownership. The results indicated that preschoolers’ ability to distinguish legitimate ownership transfers from illegitimate ownership transfers improved with age. Three-year-olds understood that ownership cannot be transferred in a stealing context, but the appropriate understanding of ownership was not attained until 4 years old in a giving context and 5 years old in losing and abandoning contexts, which is similar to the adults’ performance. In addition to the first possessor bias (a tendency to judge the first possessor as the owner) found in previous studies, 3-year-olds also displayed a loan bias (a tendency to believe everything that is transferred should be returned) in the study. The findings suggest that the developmental trajectories of preschoolers’ understanding of ownership transfers varied across different contexts, which may relate to children’s ability to consider the role of intent in determining ownership and parents’ disciplinary behavior. Both cross-cultural similarities and differences are discussed.
... There is a body of research on personal psychological ownership ("mine") in managerial and organizational sciences (see Pierce & Jussila, 2011), developmental psychology (e.g., Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013;Ross, Friedman, & Field, 2015), and social psychology (e.g., De Dreu & Van Knippenberg, 2005;Ye & Gawronski, 2016). However, the concept of collective psychological ownership ("ours") has been largely ignored, although psychological ownership does not only manifest itself at the personal level but also at the collective level (Pierce & Jussila, 2011). ...
Article
This Agenda article argues that studying the continuing world-wide migration and the resulting cultural diversity has specific benefits for social psychology: it raises new questions for the field, introduces new topics of research, and challenges conventional ways of thinking. The argument is developed in relation to four issues. The first one relates to the literature on ethnic and civic nationhood and the importance for social psychology to study citizenship and lay understandings of genetics. The second issue relates to the social psychological literature on threat and prejudice and the relative lack of interest in prosocial behaviour and intergroup toleration. Third, the limiting implications of the majority-minority schematic framework that dominates in social psychology are discussed. Finally, the relevance of studying immigration for the evidentiary value movement that has developed in response to the current ‘crisis’ in (social) psychology is discussed.
... This literature has examined out-group attitudes in relation to, for example, identification processes, threats, group norms and moral reasoning, and there is work on lay theories and justifying beliefs. Extending this literature to the important field of perceived ownership (Nancekivell et al. 2013), we showed that being here first is a relevant consideration for children's out-group attitudes. This corresponds to research among adults that has demonstrated that notions of autochthony are central in "sons of soil" conflicts (Côté and Mitchell 2017) and that people use these notions in territorial disputes and in exclusionary behavior and negative feelings towards outsiders and immigrants (Ceuppens and Geschiere 2005;Geschiere 2009). ...
Article
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Autochthony belief (“that a country is owned by its first inhabitants”) can be an acceptable reason for claiming collective ownership of a territory and this claim can have negative consequences for newcomers. Children might reason that a place belongs to their in-group because “we” were here first and therefore have negative out-group attitudes. In three studies among Dutch majority group children (N = 879; Mage = 10.13 to 10.84, SD = 0.82 to 0.98; 49.7 to 54.5% girls), the expected negative association between autochthony beliefs and attitudes was found for different measures of ethnic attitudes, and was robust across gender, age, immigrant target group, ethnic identification, perceived multicultural education and classroom composition. Additionally, the association was especially strong among ethnic majority children who felt less at home in their own country but at the same time cared about being Dutch. It is concluded that a focus on autochthony belief makes a novel and relevant contribution to the intergroup developmental literature and to our limited understanding of children’s attitudes toward immigrant groups and newcomers more generally.
... Consideration of history has important consequences for adults as well as children. History contributes to objects being a source of value (endowment effect; Morewedge & Giblin, 2015), disgust (Argo et al., 2006(Argo et al., , 2008Hood et al., 2011), comfort (children's attachment objects; Hood & Bloom, 2008), and conflict (property disputes; Nancekivell et al., 2013;Ross et al., 2015). The moral history of an object can also affect our attitudes toward that object (Nemeroff & Rozin, 1994), even when that object is money, which is intended to be wholly fungible (Tasimi & Gelman, 2017; see also, Kardos & Castano, 2012;Stellar & Willer, 2014). ...
Article
Scattered evidence in the literature suggests that people may believe that non-visible traces of past events (e.g., origins, emotions, and qualities of the owner) persist over time in objects and spaces, even after the original source has been removed. To date, however, there has been no unified treatment to determine the scope and cultural consistency of this expectation. This study had four primary goals: (a) to assess how broadly participants display persistence-of-history beliefs, (b) to explore individual differences in these beliefs, (c) to examine the explanatory frameworks for these beliefs, and (d) to determine whether these beliefs were endorsed across two cultural settings. Adults in both United States ( N = 195) and India ( N = 173) evaluated a broad range of situations involving possible persistence of history. In both countries, three patterns emerged: (a) A broad range of persistence-of-history scenarios were judged to be possible, falling into two underlying thematic clusters (supernatural vs. non-supernatural); (b) paranormal beliefs predicted endorsement of items in both thematic clusters; and yet (c) most scenarios were explained using natural explanatory frameworks. Together, these results demonstrate broad endorsement of the persistence of history—across cultures, situations, and individuals—as well as substantial individual variation.
... It is the same to explain the appetence of very young children (2 years old) to keep an object that they have just received (Gelman et al., 2012;Hood et al., 2016). Indeed the concept of property and especially that of transfer of property, are completely acquired only from 4 to 5 years old Harris, 2009, 2011;Nancekivell et al., 2013;Davoodi et al., 2020). This is the age when children, unlike apes, respect property as a cooperative arrangement, in which they inhibit their tendency to take the property of others on condition that others do the same (Kanngiesser et al., 2020). ...
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In this paper, Knetsch's exchange paradigm is analyzed from the perspective of pragmatics and social norms. In this paradigm the participant, at the beginning of the experiment, receives an object from the experimenter and at the end, the same experimenter offers to exchange the received object for an equivalent object. The observed refusal to exchange is called the endowment effect. We argue that this effect comes from an implicature made by the participant about the experimenter's own expectations. The participant perceives the received item as a gift, or as a present, from the experimenter that cannot be exchanged as stipulated by the social norms of western politeness common to both the experimenter and the participant. This implicature, however, should not be produced by participants from Kanak culture for whom the perceived gift of a good will be interpreted as a first act of exchange based on gift and counter-gift. This exchange is a natural, frequent, balanced, and indispensable act for all Kanak social bonds whether private or public. Kanak people also know the French social norms that they apply in their interactions with French people living in New Caledonia. In our experiment, we show that when the exchange paradigm takes place in a French context, with a French experimenter and in French, the Kanak participant is subject to the endowment effect in the same way as a French participant. On the other hand, when the paradigm is carried out in a Kanak context, with a Kanak experimenter and in the vernacular language, or in a Kanak context that approaches the ceremonial of the custom, the endowment effect is no longer observed. The same number of Kanak participants accept or refuse to exchange the endowed item. These results, in addition to providing a new explanation for the endowment effect, highlight the great flexibility of decisions according to social-cultural context.
... We expect similar progress can be made investigating the cue structure of other AWA determinants, including alliance strength, ownership, hunger, and other value indices. Recent work by Friedman and colleagues (Friedman and Neary 2008;Friedman et al. 2011;Nancekivell et al. 2013;Neary and Friedman 2013), for instance, has examined the cue structure of ownership, and the psychology of ownership in general is becoming more prominent in experimental and developmental psychology (see also Blake and Harris 2009). The work reviewed in this paper on modeling the selection dynamics of ownership (see "Ownership as a Determinant of Conflict Outcome") suggests additional and as-yetuntested hypotheses for this area of research (e.g., Arnott and Elwood 2008;Kokko 2013;Parker 1974;Parker and Rubenstein 1981;Williams et al. 2006;Yee 2003). ...
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The Asymmetric War of Attrition (AWA) model of animal conflict in evolutionary biology (Maynard Smith and Parker in Nature, 246, 15-18, 1976) suggests that an organism's decision to withdraw from a conflict is the result of adaptations designed to integrate the expected value of winning, discounted by the expected costs that would be incurred by continuing to compete, via sensitivity to proximate cues of how quickly each side can impose costs on the other (Resource Holding Potential), and how much each side will gain by winning. The current studies examine whether human conflict expectations follow the formalized logic of this model. Children aged 6-8 years were presented with third-party conflict vignettes and were then asked to predict the likely winner. Cues of ownership, hunger, size, strength, and alliance strength were systematically varied across conditions. Results demonstrate that children's expectations followed the logic of the AWA model, even in complex situations featuring multiple, competing cues, such that the actual relative costs and benefits that would accrue during such a conflict were reflected in children's expectations. Control conditions show that these modifications to conflict expectations could not have resulted from more general experimental artifacts or demand characteristics. To test the selectivity of these effects to conflict, expectations of search effort were also assessed. As predicted, they yielded a different pattern of results. These studies represent one of the first experimental tests of the AWA model in humans and suggest that future research on the psychology of ownership, conflict, and value may be aided by formalized models from evolutionary biology.
... We tested children aged three to five because existing research suggests that children in this age range are already competent in reasoning about ownership (see Nancekivell, Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013 for a review) and are also able to judge whether objects are owned, even when these are shown without a potential owner present (Neary et al., 2012). Adult participants were also included to examine age-related changes in performance and to confirm that natural kinds shown inside the house would be viewed as owned. ...
... In all three conditions, the experimenter emphasized the legitimacy of all possible distributive options, and children were explicitly entitled to make the distributive choice, thus reducing possible concerns about property-rights limitations (Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013). It was also made clear to the children that whereas in the mine condition the remaining resources would eventually go back to them, in the ours condition the resources would return to the kindergarten, and in the not mine they would go to the experimenter. ...
Article
Humans' social interactions are characterized by a tension between individual-regarding preferences—such as others' subjective preferences—and group-regarding preferences—such as others' group membership. Using the dictator game, we demonstrate that this tension characterizes even preschool children's distributive behavior, and that it patterns differently across development and genders. Study 1 contrasted ownership of the resource (mine/ours/not mine) with recipients' minimal group membership (in-group/out-group). We found that only boys generated biased distributions favoring the in-group, and preserved common resources as if they were their own. Study 2 revealed that upon learning of recipients' personal preferences (like/doesn't like resource), boys and girls complied with in-group members' preferences, but only boys also manifested a behavior that opposed out-group members' preferences. The early emergence of a balance between individual- and group-regarding preferences sheds light on the origins of parochialism, and its gender selectivity is consistent with evolutionary accounts of the origins of group cognition in humans.
... Another longitudinal study found this similar increase in sharing behavior from ages 6 to 9 but a decrease in sharing behavior from ages 9 to 12 . The observed increase may be due to improvements in perspectivetaking and behavioral control necessary to share resources (Best & Miller, 2010;Frith & Frith, 2003), while the decrease was suggested to relate to increased awareness of ownership which may decrease a child's willingness to share (Nancekivell et al., 2013). Importantly though, in the study of , sharing was assessed by sharing stickers at ages 6 and 9 and sharing money at age 12, making it unclear whether the found decrease was a true developmental change in sharing behavior or due to method variance. ...
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This study examined the sex-specific developmental trajectories of sharing behavior in the Dictator Game with an anonymous other, best friend, and disliked peer and associations with peer likeability and peer dislikeability in 1,108 children (50.5% boys) followed annually across grades 2–6 (ages 8–12) of elementary school. Results showed that sharing with an anonymous other and disliked peer remained stable over time. Sharing with a best friend decreased slightly between grades 2 and 5 and then remained stable. Girls consistently shared more with all recipients than boys. Moreover, children who were liked by classmates shared more with a best friend, while disliked children shared less with all recipients. Findings emphasize the importance of considering characteristics of both recipient and actor when studying the development of sharing behavior.
... Two property rules are often considered in the solution of ownership disputes: the labor rule and the first possession heuristic (Nancekivell, van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013). As an important principle to assign ownership, the labor rule has received much attention from some famous scholars (e.g., Locke, 1690Locke, /1978. ...
Article
Many property issues in real life occur in the transfer contexts. Previous studies have investigated the role of creation and value change in people's use of the labor rule when solving property issues involving conflicting cues between labor and first possession, but have neglected the possible effect of transfer types. This study explored how items get transferred from the original owner to the next affected adults' use of the labor rule when assigning ownership. Eighty-two participants (M age = 22.10 years) read some scenarios in which a person modified some redwoods into a set of furniture after he (a) was requested to store the redwoods for another person, (b) borrowed the redwoods from another person, or (c) found the redwoods lost by another person. Participants were then asked to decide whether the original possessor or the modifier of the transferred objects was the owner, and to explain their answers. The results showed that most subjects were inclined to select the laborer as owner in the losing context, and support the original possessor as owner in the storing context. Participants were more likely to justify their answers with the first possession heuristic in the storing context, but more likely to justify their answers with transfer types in the borrowing context and justify their answers with knowledge and intention in the losing context. The study shows that transfer types affect use of the labor rule in adults' ownership judgments, and may shed light on legislation and court decisions in real life.
... We focus on children's explanations about the acceptability of using objects since (as noted above) this is an area where children might readily acknowledge the importance of ownership. Finally, we focus on children aged 3 to 5 years because these are the first ages at which children reliably produce explanations (Wellman, 2011), and also the youngest ages at which children respect others' ownership (Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013;Rossano et al., 2011). This investigation will also be informative about the development of explanation in children. ...
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Young children show competence in reasoning about how ownership affects object use. In the present experiments, we investigate how influential ownership is for young children by examining their explanations. In three experiments, we asked 3- to 5-year-olds (N = 323) to explain why it was acceptable (Experiments 1-3) or unacceptable (Experiment 2 and 3) for a person to use an object. In Experiments 1 and 2, older preschoolers referenced ownership more than alternative considerations when explaining why it was acceptable or unacceptable for a person to use an object, even though ownership was not mentioned to them. In Experiment 3, ownership was mentioned to children. Here, younger preschoolers frequently referenced ownership when explaining unacceptability of using an object, but not when explaining why using it was acceptable. These findings suggest that ownership is influential in preschoolers' explanations about the acceptability of using objects, but that the scope of its influence increases with age.
... Young children's abilities to resolve resource conflicts through negotiation, taking turns, respecting ownership, and sorting out issues of merit undergo significant development in the early school years (Nancekivell et al., 2013;Schmidt et al., 2016). At the same time, the moral questions implicated when ownership rights and equality are in conflict with one another can emerge in diverse contexts throughout the lifespan (Wainryb, Smetana, & Turiel, 2008). ...
Article
This study examined how young children reasoned about two important factors—equality and ownership—when they were in conflict with one another in a resource distribution context. The sample included N = 110 ethnically and socioeconomically diverse 5- to 7-year-olds (MAge = 6;4, SD = 9 months). Children reasoned about how to distribute resources (gummy bears) between two peers who differed in their outcomes (pictures colored) and their opportunities (crayons to color with). Many children found it unacceptable to distribute resources based on outcome when the opportunity to earn them was unequal, particularly if they explicitly reasoned about unequal opportunities. Once recipients had taken possession of their gummy bears, however, children who reasoned about ownership concluded that it was unacceptable to redistribute the treats in order to adjust for unequal opportunity while children who reasoned about equality found this action acceptable. These results highlight young children’s emerging ability to balance competing moral concerns and resolve resource conflicts.
... Whereas some recent studies highlight the increasing complexity of children's moral reasoning about how others should be treated (Malti et al., 2016;Rizzo, Elenbaas, Cooley, & Killen, 2016;, other lines of work emphasize how children use fair behavior to signal that they are not selfish or partial cooperation partners (Blake et al., 2015;Fehr, Bernhard, & Rockenbach, 2008;Shaw & Olson, 2014). Given that young children must navigate social interactions about who needs, owns, and deserves what on a regular basis (Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013;Rutland & Killen, 2017), resolving this question is important for understanding what underlies moral development in contexts involving sharing and distributing resources-support for fair treatment, disapproval of unfair treatment, or both. ...
Article
This study examined young children’s judgments of resource distributions that either adhered to or diverged from principles of equality, equity, or merit in straightforward, peer-based scenarios. The sample comprised 192 ethnically and socioeconomically diverse 3- to 8-year-olds. Between 3 and 8 years of age, children evaluated inequitable and anti-meritorious allocations more negatively but did not evaluate equitable and meritorious allocations more positively. Rather, between 3 and 8 years, children increasingly supported equality. Highlighting an important but often overlooked developmental distinction, these results suggest that young children are increasingly against unfairness, but do not always endorse the most complex forms of distributive fairness.
... Most studies of ownership in children have focused on their understanding of individually owned objects (for a recent review see Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013). This research shows that young children (including toddlers) are adept at identifying who owns objects (e.g., Brownell, Iesue, Nichols, & Svetlova, 2013;Fasig, 2000), and that young children use diverse cues to infer whether objects are owned (Neary, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2012;Rossano, Fiedler, & Tomasello, 2015), and who they are owned by (e.g., Blake & Harris, 2009;Kanngiesser & Hood, 2014;Neary, Friedman, & Burnstein, 2009). ...
Article
Group ownership is ubiquitous-property is owned by countries, corporations, families, and clubs. However, people cannot understand group ownership by simply relying on their conceptions of ownership by individuals, as group ownership is subject to complexities that do not arise when property is individually owned. We report 6 experiments investigating whether children ages 3 to 6 (N = 540) understand group ownership. In Experiments 1 and 2 children were asked who different objects belong to, and they appropriately judged that certain objects are more likely to belong to a group than to individual people. Experiments 3 and 4 investigated whether children understand the limits of group ownership. Children saw vignettes where agents modified or depleted property. Children ages 3 and older understood that individual members of a group should not deplete group-owned property, and children ages 5 and 6 understood that individual members should not modify group-owned property. Finally, Experiments 5 and 6 investigated whether children understand the benefits of group ownership. Children ages 5 and 6 judged that it is more acceptable for a group member to take group property than for a nonmember to do this, and children ages 4 to 6 judged that group members can take more group resources than can nonmembers. Together, these results are informative about how children conceive of group ownership rights, and about children's conceptions of groups. (PsycINFO Database Record
... They can also learn critical invisible social information by monitoring others' access to and distribution of resources. For example, children expect people who control resources to be more powerful and hold a higher position in the social hierarchy (Gülgöz & Gelman, 2016) and make sophisticated inferences about who owns resources based on who possesses them (e.g., Nancekivell, Van de Vondervoort, & Friedman, 2013). ...
Article
Resource sharing is an important aspect of human society, and how resources are distributed can provide people with crucial information about social structure. Indeed, a recent partiality account of resource distribution suggested that people may use unequal partial resource distributions to make inferences about a distributor’s social affiliations. To empirically test this suggestion derived from the theoretical argument of the partiality account, we presented 4- to 9-year-old children with distributors who gave out resources unequally using either a partial procedure (intentionally choosing which recipient would get more) or an impartial procedure (rolling a die to determine which recipient would get more) and asked children to make judgments about whom the distributor was better friends with. At each age tested, children expected a distributor who gave partially to be better friends with the favored recipient (Studies 1–3). Interestingly, younger children (4- to 6-year-olds) inferred friendship between the distributor and the favored recipient even in cases where the distributor used an impartial procedure, whereas older children (7- to 9-year-olds) did not infer friendship based on impartial distributions (Study 1). These studies demonstrate that children use third-party resource distributions to make important predictions about the social world and add to our knowledge about the developmental trajectory of understanding the importance of partiality in addition to inequity when making social inferences.
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In three experiments, we examined whether young children use emotional reactions to infer relations, focusing on their inferences of ownership relations. In Experiment 1, children aged three to five years (N = 108) inferred ownership from emotional reactions to a positive event, in which a broken object became fixed. In Experiment 2, children aged three to six years (N = 138) inferred ownership from emotional reactions to a negative event in which an object became broken. Finally, in Experiment 3, children aged four and five (N = 68) again used sad emotional reactions to a negative event to infer ownership, but they did not use these reactions to infer who likes an object. These findings reveal that children use emotional reactions to infer one kind of relation between people and objects.
Chapter
Ownership rights influence thought and behavior in relation to the physical world and in relation to other people. We review recent research examining the nature of ownership rights, and how young children and adults conceive of them. This research examines issues such as the rights ownership is assumed to confer; whether ownership rights reflect principles specific to ownership or instead depend on more general moral principles; and whether ownership rights are inventions of law and culture, or whether they have a more natural basis.
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In four experiments, we examine whether people judge that creators are accorded ownership of their creations. We find that people judge that an agent who creates an object comes to own it, and that this effect of creation holds even when controlling for other factors typically associated with ownership, including physical possession and labor. Experiment 1 shows that ownership is ascribed more to an agent who successfully creates than an agent who fails to create. Experiment 2 suggests that ownership is ascribed more when creation is intentional rather than unintentional. Experiment 3 then shows that creation matters over-and-above the labor involved in creation. Finally, Experiment 4 shows that creation leads to ownership even when new creations are worth less than the materials from which they are made. These findings are informative about people’s decision-making about how new ownership is established, and broaden knowledge regarding the social implications of creation.
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This study examined the role of sympathy, guilt, and moral reasoning in helping, cooperation, and sharing in a 6-year, three-wave longitudinal study involving 175 children (Mage 6.10, 9.18, and 12.18 years). Primary caregivers reported on children’s helping and cooperation; sharing was assessed behaviorally. Child sympathy was assessed by self- and teacher reports, and self-attributed feelings of guilt–sadness and moral reasoning were assessed by children’s responses to transgression vignettes. Sympathy predicted helping, cooperation, and sharing. Guilt–sadness and moral reasoning interacted with sympathy in predicting helping and cooperation; both sympathy and guilt–sadness were associated with the development of sharing. The findings are discussed in relation to the emergence of differential motivational pathways to helping, cooperation, and sharing.
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To successfully navigate their social worlds, children must adapt their behaviors to diverse situations and do so in a fluid fashion. The current study explored preschool-aged children’s sensitivity to a gameplay context (cooperative/competitive) and messages from another (fictional) player (team-oriented/self-oriented) while distributing gameplay resources. To understand children’s approach to social behavior within these contexts, we focused on whether these factors affected 1) the number of resources children provided to the other player and 2) children’s verbal responses to other players. Children (4 to 6 years-old, N = 118) first provided verbal responses to audio messages, then completed a resource distribution task. Children’s verbal responses were influenced by both context and the other players’ messages; however, there was a greater influence of players’ messages in a competitive context. In contrast, children’s resource distributions were influenced primarily by the context (greater sharing of resources in the cooperative context). Children with better ToM showed a greater shift in their distributive behavior across conditions, specifically, distributing more items to the other players within a cooperative context relative to a competitive context. Also, within a cooperative context, children with better EF generated more prosocial comments for the other player. Together, the findings highlight the interplay between contextual and interpersonal factors with children’s cognitive skills for prosocial behavior.
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This study examined the role of sympathy, guilt, and moral reasoning in helping, cooperation, and sharing in a 6-year, three-wave longitudinal study involving 175 children (Mage 6.10, 9.18, and 12.18 years). Primary caregivers reported on children’s helping and cooperation; sharing was assessed behaviorally. Child sympathy was assessed by self- and teacher reports, and self-attributed feelings of guilt–sadness and moral reasoning were assessed by children’s responses to transgression vignettes. Sympathy predicted helping, cooperation, and sharing. Guilt–sadness and moral reasoning interacted with sympathy in predicting helping and cooperation; both sympathy and guilt–sadness were associated with the development of sharing. The findings are discussed in relation to the emergence of differential motivational pathways to helping, cooperation, and sharing.
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Individuals perform better when remembering and recognizing items that belong to themselves other than those belong to others, even if the ownership association between objects and subjects is only transient and imaginary. This is called the ownership effect in memory. This effect occurs also in young children and individuals with cognitive deficits. There is also cross-cultural difference in the appearance of this effect between individuals in Eastern and Western culture. Researchers have explored some internal mechanism of this effect, such as semantic organization, attention, self-choice and physical actions. At the time subjects watch items belong to themselves, there is an enhanced P300, which supplies an electrical proof that attention plays an important role in the ownership effect in memory. When subjects are to recognize items that are classified as their own in the prior ownership classification task, some brain regions in cortical midline structure, such as medial prefrontal cortex, cingulate cortex supramarginal gyri and parietal cortex, are activated. Future studies should consider the role of some other processing (such as reward learning) in this effect, and to explain this phenomenon from an evolutionary perspective by conducting studies with primates. Tapping the brain mechanism of individuals with cognitive impairment will be helpful to enrich studies in this field.
Article
Motivated by a set of converging empirical findings and theoretical suggestions pertaining to the construct of ownership, we survey literature from multiple disciplines and present an extensive theoretical account linking the inception of a foundational naïve theory of ownership to principles governing the sense of (body) ownership. The first part of the account examines the emergence of the non-conceptual sense of ownership in terms of the minimal self and the body schema—a dynamic mental model of the body that functions as an instrument of directed action. A remarkable feature of the body schema is that it expands to incorporate objects that are objectively controlled by the person. Moreover, this embodiment of extracorporeal objects is accompanied by the phenomenological feeling of ownership towards the embodied objects. In fact, we argue that the sense of agency and ownership are inextricably linked, and that predictable control over an object can engender the sense of ownership. This relation between objective agency and the sense of ownership is moderated by gestalt-like principles. In the second part, we posit that these early emerging principles and experiences lead to the formation of a naïve theory of ownership rooted in notions of agential involvement.
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We suggest that the psychology of ownership encompasses much more than feelings of ownership and includes much of “legal” ownership. To make our case, we review ownership in young children. We review findings showing that young children are aware of the ownership status of objects and of people’s ownership rights, which are both parts of “legal ownership” and have little to do with feelings of ownership. We also review findings showing that young children use ownership to understand other people and consider ownership when predicting how others will act, anticipating how they feel, and inferring their preferences. Because these ways of understanding others are basic psychological activities, these findings again suggest that aspects of “legal” ownership are psychological.
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Ownership has a unique and privileged influence on human psychology. Typically developing (TD) children judge their objects to be more desirable and valuable than similar objects belonging to others. This 'ownership effect' is due to processing one's property in relation to 'the self'. Here we explore whether children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) - a population with impaired self-understanding - prefer and over-value property due to ownership. In Experiment 1, we discovered that children with ASD did not favour a randomly endowed toy and frequently traded for a different object. By contrast, TD children showed a clear preference for their randomly endowed toy and traded infrequently. Both populations also demonstrated highly-accurate tracking of owner-object relationships. Experiment 2 showed that both TD children and children with ASD over-value their toys if they are self-selected and different from other-owned toys. Unlike TD children, children with ASD did not over-value their toys in comparison to non-owned identical copies. This finding was replicated in Experiment 3, which also established that mere ownership elicited over-valuation of randomly endowed property in TD children. However, children with ASD did not consistently regard their randomly endowed toys as the most valuable, and evaluated property irrespective of ownership. Our findings show that mere ownership increases preferences and valuations for self-owned property in TD children, but not children with ASD. We propose that deficits in self-understanding may diminish ownership effects in ASD, eliciting a more economically-rational strategy that prioritises material qualities (e.g. what a toy is) rather than whom it belongs to.
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Brian Young returns now to the child and begins his narrative at conception. But we don’t enter the world as a tabula rasa or ‘blank slate’ and he delivers a clear account of just what we can do because of our inheritance as a member of Homo sapiens. This excursion into evolutionary psychology provides us with a fresh take on early development which is given an in-depth treatment including what goes on in the womb in terms of learning and glimpses of cutting edge research with preschool children. We are shown how children develop different skills in the first five years of life that would not have been recognised by psychologists 50 years ago.
Chapter
Experiencing ownership is central to what it means to be human and it is central to the functioning of societies. One notion that is inherently tied to ownership is the notion of boundaries around the owned target and between owners and non-owners. These boundaries enable humans to claim, to exert control over and to take responsibility for that which is owned. All of which are necessary to motivate and enable sustainable behaviors. In this contribution, I highlight ways in which current societal and technological trends, in particular the fast paced movement towards encompassing digitalization of life, erode the boundaries necessary for the experience of ownership. I further discuss how this erosion may not only hamper feelings of ownership but even go so far as to shift the perception of humans from owners to those being owned; thus, undermining humans perceived capability as responsible agents. In response, I suggest a necessary transformation in terms of digital boundaries and empowerment, potentially taking the shape of digital blueprints and agents.
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Items with special histories (e.g. celebrity owners) or qualities (e.g. limited editions) are more valuable than similar “inauthentic” items. Typically developing (TD) children privilege authenticity and are particularly influenced by who objects belong to. Here, we explore why children and adults over-value items with special ownership histories and examine how autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects object valuation. In Studies 1 and 2, TD children perceived items belonging to famous owners (with “good” or “bad” reputations) to be more valuable than similar items belonging to non-famous owners. However, they ascribed significantly higher values to items belonging to famous heroes than infamous villains when compared. Children with ASD did not over-value objects with special ownership histories, but their valuations were moderated by qualities unrelated to ownership (e.g. rarity). In Study 3, adults with ASD assigned high values to authentic items with special ownership histories but were more likely to keep inauthentic objects than neurotypical adults. Our findings show that association with a famous owner is sufficient to increase an item's value for TD children and adults (with and without ASD). The degree of added value may be determined by the famous owner's character for TD children, but not adults. By contrast, children with ASD value objects via a different strategy that prioritizes material qualities over ownership history. However, the awareness of authenticity displayed by adults with ASD suggests that the emergence of ownership history as an important influence on object evaluation may be developmentally delayed in ASD, rather than completely absent.
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People are normally restricted from accessing property without permission from the owner. The principle that nonowners are excluded from property is central to theories of ownership, and previous findings suggest it could be a core feature of the psychology of ownership. However, we report six experiments on children (N = 480) and adults (N = 211) showing that this principle may not apply for actions that benefit the owner—actions like repairing broken property. In Experiment 1, 3–5-year-olds judged it more acceptable for a nonowner to repair broken property than to move it. Experiments 2 and 3 replicated this with 4–6-year-olds using different question wordings and showed that children also approve of replacing broken property. Experiment 4 showed these findings replicate regardless of whether the nonowner and owner are acquainted. Finally, Experiments 5 and 6 revealed a boundary condition on approval of unsolicited beneficial actions: Both 4–6-year-olds and adults judged repairing property more acceptable than modifying it to suit the owner’s preferences. These findings suggest that restrictions on nonowners are less absolute than often claimed, and that participants’ judgments depended on generic information about which actions are typically beneficial, rather than on consideration of owners’ specific preferences.
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While children generally prefer equal distributions of resources, we know little about the contextual and individual variability in these preferences. The present work examined experimental manipulations and associations between individual differences in empathy and parental teaching of “just world beliefs”, and children's perceptions of, and reactions to, unequal distributions. Children (aged 5–8, N = 96) watched videos of two puppets receiving unequal resources in varying contexts: distribution by one or multiple individuals, crossed with taking the perspective of the advantaged or disadvantaged puppet. Age was positively associated with perceived unfairness. Behavioural reactions to distributions were associated with individual and contextual factors: Greater cognitive empathy and lower teaching of just world beliefs were associated with increased rectification, and children with greater affective empathy favoured the disadvantaged puppet, but these relations only emerged in certain contexts. Findings provide guidance for interventions aimed at promoting morality, suggesting emphasis on behavioural responses to inequality and empathy-training.
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Money can take many forms—a coin or a bill, a payment for an automobile or a prize for an award, a piece from the 1989 series or the 2019 series, and so on—but despite this, money is designed to represent an amount and only that. Thus, a dollar is a dollar, in the sense that money is fungible. But when adults ordinarily think about money, they think about it in terms of its source, and in particular, its moral source (e.g., dirty money). Here we investigate the development of the belief that money carries traces of its moral history. We study children ages 5–6 and 8–9, who are sensitive to both object history and morality, and thus possess the component pieces needed to think that a dollar may not be like any other. Across three principal studies (and three additional studies in Appendix S1; N = 327; 219 five‐ and six‐year‐olds; 108 eight‐ and nine‐year‐olds), we find that children are less likely to want money with negative moral history, a pattern that was stronger and more consistent among 8‐ and 9‐year‐olds than 5‐ and 6‐year‐olds. These findings highlight pressing directions for future research that could help shed light on the mechanisms that contribute to the belief that money carries traces of its moral history.
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All societies have resource inequality, wherein some possess more resources than others. How should one respond to such inequality? We tested how children 4–13 years (N= 298) balance concerns about equity and ownership rights, when the two are at odds, in both individual (Study 1) and group (Study 2) contexts. Across these studies, children evaluated individuals who consumed their own or another’s resources, and who themselves had similar or differing amounts of resources, which provided a comprehensive examination of children’s competing concerns for ownership rights and equity. Overall, children evaluated the poor consuming resources of the rich as more acceptable than the rich consuming resources from the poor, suggesting that attention to redistributive justice is heightened in group-based contexts.
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The influence of the self on memory processes has been extensively investigated (the self-reference effect) both explicitly (trait-rating paradigm) and implicitly (ownership paradigm). The groups that are closely related to the self are an important part of self-concept, and group-reference facilitated recall to the same extent as self-referencing using trait-rating paradigm. The current research employed an ownership procedure to investigate the impact of group ownership on memory using the participants' family served as the reference group. In both experiments, participants were asked to sort items into baskets that belonged to their family or a fictitious family. A subsequent recognition test showed that there was a significant memory advantage for objects that owned by their family, and the ownership effect was found in remember, but not know, responses. This finding suggests that transient ingroup-ownership of items had a significant memory dominance effect, and the enhancing effect of ownership leads to recollective experience.
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People's emotions often depend on ownership. We report 3 experiments showing that preschoolers and toddlers consider ownership in predicting basic emotions. In Experiment 1, 3-year-olds were sensitive to ownership when predicting how a character would feel when objects went missing. Experiment 2 found that 3- to 5-year-olds consider ownership when predicting emotional reactions to harmless violations of ownership rights, and Experiment 3 showed 2-year-olds also do this. For instance, preschoolers and toddlers predicted a girl would be upset when a boy played with her teddy bear without permission, but not when he played with his own. These findings show that preschoolers and toddlers understand basic causal relations between ownership and emotions, and are also the first to show that 2-year-olds are sensitive to other people's ownership rights. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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In everyday life, we are often faced with the problem of judging who owns an object. The current experiments show that children and adults base ownership judgments on group stereotypes, which relate kinds of people to kinds of objects. Moreover, the experiments show that reliance on stereotypes can override another means by which people make ownership judgmentsinferring ownership from first possession. Experiment 1 replicates previous findings in showing that children and adults are strongly biased to assume that the first person to possess an object is its owner, while also demonstrating that the first-possession bias shows specificity to ownership. Experiment 2 shows that preschoolers and adults used gender stereotypes to make ownership judgments, and they do this even when stereotypes conflict with first possession. Experiment 3 reports similar findings but with age stereotypes. These findings reveal that stereotypes are a powerful means for making ownership judgments.
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It is impossible to perceive who owns an object; this must be inferred. One way that children make such inferences is through a first possession bias-when two agents each use an object, children judge the object belongs to the one who used it first. Two experiments show that this bias does not result from children directly inferring ownership from first possession; the experiments instead support an alternative account according to which the first possession bias reflects children's historical reasoning. In Experiment 1, eighty-five 3- to 5-year-olds only based inferences on first possession when it was informative about the past. In Experiment 2, thirty-two 5-year-olds based ownership judgments on testimony about past contact, while disregarding testimony about future contact.
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Both evolutionary and developmental research indicate that humans are adapted to respecting property rights, independently (and possibly orthogonally) of considerations of fairness. We offer evidence from psychological experiments suggesting that enforcing one’s rights and respecting others’ possessions are basic cognitive mechanisms automatically activated and grounded in humans’ sensory-motor system. This may entail an independent motivation that is more profound than considerations of fairness and impartiality.
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What makes humans moral beings? This question can be understood either as a proximate “how” question or as an ultimate “why” question. The “how” question is about the mental and social mechanisms that produce moral judgments and interactions, and has been investigated by psychologists and social scientists. The “why” question is about the fitness consequences that explain why humans have morality, and has been discussed by evolutionary biologists in the context of the evolution of cooperation. Our goal here is to contribute to a fruitful articulation of such proximate and ultimate explanations of human morality. We develop an approach to morality as an adaptation to an environment in which individuals were in competition to be chosen and recruited in mutually advantageous cooperative interactions. In this environment, the best strategy is to treat others with impartiality and to share the costs and benefits of cooperation equally. Those who offer less than others will be left out of cooperation; conversely, those who offer more will be exploited by their partners. In line with this mutualistic approach, the study of a range of economic games involving property rights, collective actions, mutual help and punishment shows that participants' distributions aim at sharing the costs and benefits of interactions in an impartial way. In particular, the distribution of resources is influenced by effort and talent, and the perception of each participant's rights on the resources to be distributed.
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To examine early developments in other-oriented resource sharing, fifty-one 18- and 24-month-old children were administered 6 tasks with toys or food that could be shared with an adult playmate who had none. On each task the playmate communicated her desire for the items in a series of progressively more explicit cues. Twenty-four-month-olds shared frequently and spontaneously. Eighteen-month-olds shared when given multiple opportunities and when the partner provided enough communicative support. Younger children engaged in self-focused and hypothesis-testing behavior in lieu of sharing more often than did older children. Ownership understanding, separately assessed, was positively associated with sharing and negatively associated with non-sharing behavior, independent of age and language ability.
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MERIT IS A KEY PRINCIPLE OF FAIRNESS: rewards should be distributed according to how much someone contributed to a task. Previous research suggests that children have an early ability to take merit into account in third-party situations but that merit-based sharing in first-party contexts does not emerge until school-age. Here we provide evidence that three- and five-year-old children already use merit to share resources with others, even when sharing is costly for the child. In Study 1, a child and a puppet-partner collected coins that were later exchanged for rewards. We varied the work-contribution of both partners by manipulating how many coins each partner collected. Children kept fewer stickers in trials in which they had contributed less than in trials in which they had contributed more than the partner, showing that they took merit into account. Few children, however, gave away more than half of the stickers when the partner had worked more. Study 2 confirmed that children related their own work-contribution to their partner's, rather than simply focusing on their own contribution. Taken together, these studies show that merit-based sharing is apparent in young children; however it remains constrained by a self-serving bias.
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People develop feelings of ownership for a variety of objects, material and immaterial in nature. We refer to this state as psychological ownership. Building on and extending previous scholarship, the authors offer a conceptual examination of this construct. After defining psychological ownership, they address "why" it exists and "how" it comes into being. They propose that this state finds its roots in a set of intraindividual motives (efficacy and effectance, self-identity, and having a place to dwell). In addition, they discuss the experiences that give rise to psychological ownership and propose several positive and negative consequences of this state. The authors' work provides a foundation for the development of a comprehensive theory of psychological ownership and the conceptual underpinnings for empirical testing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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For adults, ownership is nonobvious: (a) determining ownership depends more on an object's history than on perceptual cues, and (b) ownership confers special value on an object ("endowment effect"). This study examined these concepts in preschoolers (2.0-4.4) and adults (n = 112). Participants saw toy sets in which 1 toy was designated as the participant's and 1 as the researcher's. Toys were then scrambled and participants were asked to identify their toy and the researcher's toy. By 3 years of age, participants used object history to determine ownership and identified even undesirable toys as their own. Furthermore, participants at all ages showed an endowment effect (greater liking of items designated as their own). Thus, even 2-year-olds appreciate the nonobvious basis of ownership.
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Classic studies in developmental psychology demonstrate a relatively late development of equity, with children as old as 6 or even 8-10 years failing to follow the logic of merit--that is, giving more to those who contributed more. Following Piaget (1932), these studies have been taken to indicate that judgments of justice develop slowly and follow a stagelike progression, starting off with simple rules (e.g., equality: everyone receives the same) and only later on in development evolving into more complex ones (e.g., equity: distributions match contributions). Here, we report 2 experiments with 3- and 4-year-old children (N = 195) that contradict this constructivist account. Our results demonstrate that children as young as 3 years old are able to take merit into account by distributing tokens according to individual contributions but that this ability may be hidden by a preference for equality.
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People's behavior in relation to objects depends on whether they are owned. But how do people judge whether objects are owned? We propose that people expect human-made objects (artifacts) to be more likely to be owned than naturally occurring objects (natural kinds), and we examine the development of these expectations in young children. Experiment 1 found that when shown pictures of familiar kinds of objects, 3-year-olds expected artifacts to be owned and inanimate natural kinds to be non-owned. In Experiments 2A and 2B, 3-6-year-olds likewise had different expectations about the ownership of unfamiliar artifacts and natural kinds. Children at all ages viewed unfamiliar natural kinds as non-owned, but children younger than 6 years of age only endorsed artifacts as owned at chance rates. In Experiment 3, children saw the same pictures but were also told whether objects were human-made. With this information provided, even 3-year-olds viewed unfamiliar artifacts as owned. Finally, in Experiment 4, 4- and 5-year-olds chose unfamiliar artifacts over natural kinds when judging which object in a pair belongs to a person, but not when judging which the person prefers. These experiments provide first evidence about how children judge whether objects are owned. In contrast to claims that children think about natural kinds as being similar to artifacts, the current findings reveal that children have differing expectations about whether they are owned.
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The present work investigated young children's normative understanding of property rights using a novel methodology. Two- and 3-year-old children participated in situations in which an actor (1) took possession of an object for himself, and (2) attempted to throw it away. What varied was who owned the object: the actor himself, the child subject, or a third party. We found that while both 2- and 3-year-old children protested frequently when their own object was involved, only 3-year-old children protested more when a third party's object was involved than when the actor was acting on his own object. This suggests that at the latest around 3 years of age young children begin to understand the normative dimensions of property rights.
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People develop feelings of ownership for a variety of objects, material and immaterial in nature. We refer to this state as psychological ownership. Building on and extending previous scholarship, the authors offer a conceptual examination of this construct. After defining psychological ownership, they address "why" it exists and "how" it comes into being. They propose that this state finds its roots in a set of intraindividual motives (efficacy and effectance, self-identity, and having a place to dwell). In addition, they discuss the experiences that give rise to psychological ownership and propose several positive and negative consequences of this state. The authors' work provides a foundation for the development of a comprehensive theory of psychological ownership and the conceptual underpinnings for empirical testing.
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Sibling property disputes were observed in 40 families, each with a 2- and a 4-year-old child, to study the application of principles of entitlement. Conflict outcomes, parent support, and justifying arguments were each analyzed in disputes involving ownership, possession, sharing, and property damage. Ownership and possession each influenced the conduct and outcomes of disputes, with ownership taking precedence over possession in children's arguments and in dispute outcomes. Parents did not clearly support either principle on its own and were as likely to argue in terms of possession as ownership rights. Parents supported children's sharing and prohibited property damage, but conflict outcomes upheld these principles only when parents intervened. Analyses revealed the strong influence of young children who argued, with increasing differentiation and sophistication, for principles of entitlement that were not strongly endorsed by their parents.
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Interpersonal conflicts of children in natural settings are the focus of this review of the empirical literature in social and cognitive development and sociolinguistics. The central role of conflict in various developmental theories is outlined, conflict is differentiated from aggression, and the major features of social conflicts are described: their incidence and duration, and the issues, strategies, and outcomes of conflict episodes. Several studies indicate substantial relations between children's social-cognitive functioning and their conflict behavior, particularly in disputes about object possession and peer-group entry. The study of conflict appears to be useful in revealing aspects of the organization of the behavior of individuals and of dyads, and in revealing some of the information structure of the social environment of children.
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Understanding ownership rights is necessary for socially appropriate behavior. We provide evidence that preschoolers' and adults' judgments of ownership rights are related to their judgments of bodily rights. Four-year-olds (n = 70) and adults (n = 89) evaluated the acceptability of harmless actions targeting owned property and body parts. At both ages, evaluations did not vary for owned property or body parts. Instead, evaluations were influenced by two other manipulations—whether the target belonged to the agent or another person, and whether that other person approved of the action. Moreover, these manipulations influenced judgments for owned objects and body parts in the same way: When the other person approved of the action, participants' judgments were positive regardless of who the target belonged to. In contrast, when that person disapproved, judgments depended on who the target belonged to. These findings show that young children grasp the importance of approval or consent for ownership rights and bodily rights, and likewise suggest that people's notions of ownership rights are related to their appreciation of bodily rights.
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This study examined property conflicts in thirty‐two 20‐ and 30‐month‐old peer dyads during eighteen 40‐min play sessions. Ownership influenced conflicts. Both 20‐ and 30‐month‐old owners claimed ownership (“mine”) and instigated and won property conflicts more often than non‐owners. At 30 months, owners also resisted peers’ instigations more often than non‐owners. Mothers’ interventions supported non‐owners more often than owners, in part because owners initiated conflict more frequently. Children who received mothers’ support tended to win disputes. Finally, mothers’ support of owners and children’s adherence to ownership rights led to decreased conflict as relationships developed, supporting predictions based on theories concerning the social utility of ownership rights.
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Evolutionary theory and empirical studies suggest that many animals, including humans, have a genetic predisposition to acquir and retain property. This is hardly surprising because survival is closely bound up with the acquisition of things: food shelter, tools and territory. But the root of these general urges may also run to quite specific and detailed rules abou property acquisition, retention and disposition. The great variation in property-related behaviours across species may mas some important commonalities grounded in adaptive utility. Experiments and observations in the field and laboratory sugges that the legal rules of temporal priority and possession are grounded in what were evolutionarily stable strategies in th ancestral environment. Moreover, the preferences that humans exhibit in disposing of their property on their deaths, bot by dispositions made in wills and by the laws of intestacy, tend to advance reproductive success as a result of inclusiv fitness pay-offs.
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Two experiments provide evidence that preschoolers selectively infer history when explaining outcomes and infer past events that could have plausibly happened. In Experiment 1, thirty-three 3-year-olds and thirty-six 4-year-olds explained why a character owns or likes certain objects. In Experiment 2, thirty-four 4-year-olds and thirty-six 5-year-olds explained why a character either owns or is using the objects. Children aged 4 and 5 years, but not 3 years, inferred history when explaining ownership, but not when explaining liking or use. They also tailored their explanations to reflect likelihood, allowing them to infer plausible past events. These findings are informative about the development of children's ability to infer history in their explanations and also suggest that preschoolers appreciate that ownership depends on past investment.
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The understanding that people can own certain things is essential for activities such as trading, lending, sharing, and use of currency. In two studies, children in grades K, 2, and 4 (N = 118) and adults (N = 40) were asked to identify whether four kinds of individuals could be owners: typical humans, non-human animals, artifacts, and atypical humans (e.g., individuals who were sleeping or unable to move). Participants in all age groups attributed ownership to typical humans most often, non-human animals less often, and artifacts least often. In a third study, children and adults (N = 240) attributed property rights to individuals who were awake, asleep, or tied up, but children continued to deny that these rights extend to atypical humans. Although both children and adults use an ontological boundary to guide their ownership attributions, concepts of owners change significantly over the course of development.
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The self-reference effect (SRE) is the reliable memory advantage for information encoded about self over material encoded about other people. The developmental pathway of the SRE has proved difficult to chart, because the standard SRE task is unsuitable for young children. The current inquiry was designed to address this issue using an ownership paradigm, as encoding objects in the context of self-ownership have been shown to elicit self-referential memory advantages in adults. Pairs of 4- to 6-year-old children (n = 64) sorted toy pictures into self- and other-owned sets. A surprise recognition memory test revealed a significant advantage for toys owned by self, which decreased with age. Neither verbal ability nor theory of mind attainment predicted the size of the memory advantage for self-owned items. This finding suggests that contrary to some previous reports, memory in early childhood can be shaped by the same self-referential biases that pervade adult cognition.
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The study employed a series of sorting tasks with 80 subjects (age 7-20) to determine whether children and adolescents make a conceptual distinction between events defined as personal matters and issues of morality or social convention. It was found that subjects at all ages ranked moral violations as more wrong than violations of convention. Social conventional violations, in turn, were ranked as more wrong than the commission of acts in the personal domain. Reasons given for event rankings were consistent with the moral, conventional, or personal nature of acts. In other sorting tasks, subjects ranked moral transgressions as wrong even in the absence of governing rules. In the final task, subjects sorted acts in the personal domain as their own business and, as such, acts which should not be rule governed.
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Ownership is not a “natural” property of objects, but is determined by human intentions. Facts about who owns what may be altered by appropriate decisions. However, young children often deny the efficacy of transfer decisions, asserting that original owners retain rights to their property. In Experiment 1, 4–5-year-old and 7–8-year-old children and adults were asked to resolve disputes between initial owners and various types of receivers (finders, borrowers, buyers). Experiment 2 involved disputes both before and after transfers of ownership. At all ages participants privileged owners over non-owners and accepted the effectiveness of property transfers. Overall, children's intuitions about property rights were similar to those of adults. Observed differences may reflect older participants’ willingness to segregate property rights from other considerations in assessing the acceptability of actions.
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An understanding of ownership entails the recognition that ownership can be transferred permanently and the ability to differentiate legitimate from illegitimate transfers. Two experiments explored the development of this understanding in 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year olds, using stories about gift-giving and stealing. The possibility that children use simple biases to identify owners, such as a first possessor, current possessor or a loan bias, was also investigated. Five-year olds appropriately acknowledged a permanent transfer of ownership in the case of giving but not stealing. Four-year olds allowed permanent transfers but struggled to differentiate legitimate from illegitimate transfers. Many 4-year olds allowed adults, but not children, to keep property that had been stolen. Two- and 3-year olds exhibited a first possessor bias for both stories. We conclude that, by 5 years of age, children possess a mature understanding of ownership transfer whereas younger children are prone to biases.
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Recent research has produced new insights into the early development of social cognition and social learning. Even very young children learn and understand social activities as governed by conventional norms that (a) are arbitrary and shared by the community, (b) have normative force and apply to all participants, and (c) are valid in context-relative ways. Importantly, such understanding is revealed both in the fact that children themselves follow the norms, and in the fact that they actively enforce them toward third parties. Human social cognition thus has a fundamental normative dimension that begins early. This norm psychology plausibly evolved due to its role in stabilizing group coordination and cooperation, and is one of the foundations of what is uniquely human social learning and culture.
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This study provides evidence that children give priority to ownership when judging who should use an object. Children (N = 269) and adults (N = 154) considered disputes over objects. In disputes between a character using an object and the owner of the object, children, as young as 3 years and as old as 7 years, sided with the owner, and did so more than adults. However, children aged 4 and older disregarded owners' rights in dilemmas where these were pitted against the need to prevent harm. These findings suggest that ownership is central in children's judgments about object use and constrain developmental accounts of how children acquire an appreciation of ownership.
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This study examined the nature of possession and ownership in a developmental and cross-cultural context. It was an exploratory study attempting to map out the various dimensions of the meaning of possession, and the motivation for possessive behaviour. An open-ended interview was administered to (a) 150 American subjects, 30 at each of five age levels (kindergarten, second, fifth, and eleventh grades, and 40- to 50-year-old adults), and (b) 120 Israeli subjects, 60 from the kibbutz and 60 from the city (in each case, 30 of kindergarten age and 30 of fifth-grade age). A content analysis was performed on the interview responses. The resulting dimensions of the meaning of possession and of the motivation for possession are presented, and the relative saliencies of these dimensions for the different age and cultural groups are discussed. Of particular importance to all ages and cultural groups were the two dimensions of (a) effectance and control of possessions, and (b) positive affect for possessions. A large number of other dimensions were also obtained, often differing in their relative importance at different ages. It is hoped that the results will lay the foundations for subsequent empirical work on this topic.
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Discusses the magical status possessions acquire when they transcend ordinary utilitarian status and suggests some concepts behind this phenomenon. Categories of special possessions include (1) parts of self (cosmetics, jewelry, clothing); (2) extensions of self (home, vehicle, pets); (3) objects of magic, science, and religion (icons, talismans, drugs); (4) memory laden objects (gifts, heirlooms); and (5) rare and mysterious possessions (treasure, relics of famous people). Tests for nonrational relations with objects are outlined. An eclectic set of concepts is presented to sketch theoretical perspectives that account for the mysteries of possessions. The concepts presented include fetishism, singularity and sacredness, self extension, and meaning displacement. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The development of children's use of justification in disputes with their mothers and siblings and its relation to the social and emotional context of family disputes were studied in a longitudinal study of 43 children observed at home at 18, 24, and 36 months. By 36 months, children used justifications in about one third of their disputes with both mother and sibling, chiefly in terms of their own feelings, but also in terms of social rules and the material consequences of actions. Children's emotional behavior and use of justification differed according to the topic of dispute: Anger and distress were most often expressed at 18 months, and justification at 36 months was most often given by children in disputes about rights and conventions. Mothers, too, were more likely to justify in disputes over rights, and there was a significant association between child and mother justification. The significance of emotional experience and of family discourse in the development of reasoning about social issues is discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
68 preschoolers 30–60 mo old were told that a toy belonged either to them or to the class or were given no specific instructions. Their subsequent behavior with the toy was observed. Children of all ages defended the toy more in the "yours" condition than in the "class" condition. Girls, but not boys, exhibited more defensive behavior with age. (3 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Sibling property disputes were observed in 40 families, each with a 2- and a 4-year-old child, to study the application of principles of entitlement. Conflict outcomes, parent support, and justifying arguments were each analyzed in disputes involving ownership, possession, sharing, and property damage. Ownership and possession each influenced the conduct and outcomes of disputes, with ownership taking precedence over possession in children's arguments and in dispute outcomes. Parents did not clearly support either principle on its own and were as likely to argue in terms of possession as ownership rights. Parents supported children's sharing and prohibited property damage, but conflict outcomes upheld these principles only when parents intervened. Analyses revealed the strong influence of young children who argued, with increasing differentiation and sophistication, for principles of entitlement that were not strongly endorsed by their parents. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Adults apply ownership not only to objects but also to ideas. But do people come to apply principles of ownership to ideas because of being taught about intellectual property and copyrights? Here, we investigate whether children apply rules from physical property ownership to ideas. Studies 1a and 1b show that children (6-8 years old) determine ownership of both objects and ideas based on who first establishes possession of the object or idea. Study 2 shows that children use another principle of object ownership, control of permission-an ability to restrict others' access to the entity in question-to determine idea ownership. In Study 3, we replicate these findings with different idea types. In Study 4, we determine that children will not apply ownership to every entity, demonstrating that they do not apply ownership to a common word. Taken together, these results suggest that, like adults, children as young as 6 years old apply rules from ownership not only to objects but to ideas as well.
Article
Knowledge of self-continuity is proposed as essential to self understanding. However, little research has addressed the development of the extended self in very young children. This study explored ownership understanding as evidence for knowledge of the interpersonal extended self. Toddlers, age 18 months to 28 months, identified items as belonging to themselves or another, and participated in the classic mirror self- recognition task. Mothers completed the Self Development Questionnaire. Results show that the children have a basic understanding of ownership, and that this understanding differentiated children who provided self-descriptions and evaluations from children who did not. Mirror self-recognition was unrelated to ownership understanding or self-descriptions and evaluations. These results suggest that the extended self emerges earlier in development than previously claimed. Implications for integrated self-concept development are discussed.
Article
The author claims that an institution is any collectively accepted system of rules (procedures, practices) that enable us to create institutional facts. These rules typically have the form of X counts as Y in C, where an object, person, or state of affairs X is assigned a special status, the Y status, such that the new status enables the person or object to perform functions that it could not perform solely in virtue of its physical structure, but requires as a necessary condition the assignment of the status. The creation of an institutional fact is, thus, the collective assignment of a status function. The typical point of the creation of institutional facts by assigning status functions is to create deontic powers. So typically when we assign a status function Y to some object or person X we have created a situation in which we accept that a person S who stands in the appropriate relation to X is such that (S has power (S does A)). The whole analysis then gives us a systematic set of relationships between collective intentionality, the assignment of function, the assignment of status functions, constitutive rules, institutional facts, and deontic powers.
Article
Children's understanding of private ownership was examined by noting the attributes they used to endorse ownership. It was hypothesized that with increasing age children's endorsement of higher level (i.e. contractual) attributes will increase, and their rejection of low-level (i.e. physical) and the lowest-level (i.e. egocentric) attributes will increase also. Children (n = 172) between the ages of 5 and 12 years were shown computer generated cartoons depicting eleven ownership attributes representing the various levels. The results of the contractual and physical attributes supported the hypothesis; those of the egocentric attributes showed a trend in the hypothesized direction. There were no significant effects due to gender.
Article
Adults believe that plagiarizing ideas is wrong, which requires an understanding that others can have ideas and that it is wrong to copy them. In order to test when this understanding emerges, we investigated when children begin to think plagiarism is wrong. In Study 1, children aged 7, 9 and 11 years old, as well as adults, disliked someone who plagiarized compared to someone who drew an original drawing or someone who drew an identical picture by chance. Study 2 investigated the same question with younger children, focusing on children aged 3–6 years old. Children aged 5–6 years old evaluated plagiarizers negatively relative to unique drawers, but 3–4-year-olds did not. Study 3 replicated the findings from Study 2 and found that children justify their negative evaluations of plagiarizers by mentioning concerns over copying. These experiments provide evidence that, by age 5 years old, children understand that others have ideas and dislike the copying of these ideas.
Article
This research investigated 12-month-olds' ability to use person-specific language to determine to which of several absent things a person is referring. Infants were introduced to two experimenters who played separately with a different ball. One researcher asked infants to retrieve her object when both balls were hidden. Infants selected the correct object when researchers used the pronoun my, but failed to do so when the was used. The present research provides the first evidence of 12-month-olds' comprehension of possessive pronouns and indicates that infants use person-specific language to resolve reference.
Ownership and economic behaviors are highly salient elements of the human social landscape. Indeed, the human world is literally constructed of property. Individuals perceive and manipulate a complex web of people and property that is largely invisible and abstract. In this chapter, the authors focus on drawing together information from a variety of disciplines, including legal theory, philosophy, psychology, and economics, to begin creating a coherent picture of the cognitive architecture that underlies ownership concepts. In doing so, the authors review theories of ownership and discuss recent research that highlights the unique contributions garnered by studying ownership in a developmental context.
Appropriate behavior in relation to an object often requires judging whether it is owned and, if so, by whom. The authors propose accounts of how people make these judgments. Our central claim is that both judgments often involve making inferences about object history. In judging whether objects are owned, people may assume that artifacts (e.g., chairs) are owned and that natural objects (e.g., pinecones) are not. However, people may override these assumptions by inferring the history of intentional acts made in relation to objects. In judging who owns an object, people may often consider which person likely possessed the object in the past--such reasoning may be responsible for people's bias to assume that the first person known to possess an object is its owner.
The authors suggest that ownership may be one of the critical entry points into thinking about social constructions, a kind of laboratory for understanding status. They discuss the features of ownership that make it an interesting case to study developmentally. In particular, ownership is a consequential social fact that is alterable by an individual, even a child. Children experience changes in ownership in a way they do not experience changes in other social facts (such as word meanings or social norms). Ownership is also an individual rather than a general property; two objects can be identical, but differ in ownership.