People experience feelings of ownership not only for physical goods (i.e. products they can touch and see), but also for digital goods, ideas, designs, other people, or public goods, like organisations.
But what motivates us to feel ownership over those different targets? In a review article on psychological ownership in marketing and consumer research, Joann Peck (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Andrea W. Luangrath (University of Iowa) are discussing the underlying motivations behind psychological ownership, as well as considering its antecedents and consequences. As key motives, they are discussing (1) effectance motivation, (2) signaling self-identity, (3) feeling at home, and (4) need for stimulation. If a person feels psychological ownership of a target, more than one motive can be active, e.g. if you experience psychological ownership of a parking space (My parking space) or a book (My edition of ‘The old man and the sea’) or a pet (My black cat).
You can find more about the research of Peck and Luangrath (2023) here.
Have you ever wondered what people value more in a creation, the idea behind it or the labor needed for its implementation – and who do they think owns the creation after all? Prior research has shown that children by the age of six begin to value ideas over labor. However, it is not clear whether the same applies also to adults. This is the question addressed by Pascal Burgmer (University of Cologne), Matthias Forstmann (Yale University) and Olga Stavrova (Tilburg University) in a paper recently published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. In their research, they presented participants with products that were the outcome of a collaboration between two people: the one had the idea and the other one worked in order to make this idea come true. Then, the researchers asked participants to indicate which one of the two persons, the idea giver or the laborer, contributed more to the creation of the product as well as who deserves ownership of it. Results showed that, contrary to children, adults valued labor more than ideas. This effect was replicated across different contexts, such as books, movies, recipes or business plans for start-ups. These findings provide novel insights into beliefs about ownership and the role that the distinction between ideas and labor plays in shaping these beliefs.
You can read more about this research here.