“Why is it interesting to study the science of ownership?” – Bernadette Kamleitner in conversation with Ori Friedman

Feelings of possession and ownership affect our lives all the time: Ownership can make us like things more, it can make us feel responsible and governs our behaviour.

As part of the opening of the POP Library at the WU Vienna, Bernadette Kamleitner spoke with Ori Friedman about the science of ownership. They discuss why it is so exciting to study the science of ownership and how it affects us. Find out more about the science of ownership in the video below.

Why is the topic of ownership worth studying?

The concepts of possession, ownership and property play a fundamental role for human behaviour, social interactions and economic transactions. There are numerous resources from various disciplines dealing with exciting and surprising findings on ownership, which are now bundled and curated in the new special POP collection.

To get a first impression of the physical side of the POP (Possession, Ownership & Property) collection and to find out why world-leading experts (Floyd Rudmin, Russ Belk, Ori Friedman, Michael Heller, Jennifer Inauen, Carey Morewedge, Joann Peck, Jon Pierce, and Federico Rossano) think that ownership is an interesting topic to study and what research finding on the issue surprised them the most watch this video.

May We Introduce: Ori Friedman

“I believe that the nature of ownership is something we need to discover through research—not something that can be stipulated in advance. ”

We are happy to announce that we got the chance to talk to yet another great personality, who we would like to introduce to you in our Featured section. Ori Friedman is a truly inspiring and dedicated researcher who got involved in the topic of ownership when he was studying people’s mental states and realized that many interesting elements were equally related to children’s reasoning about ownership, a topic that hardly anybody looked into at the time.

Unlike our previous candidates, Ori approaches the topic from a purely psychological perspective and demonstrates how diverse and broad the topic can be. Receiving his PhD in psychology at Boston College, he is now an Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo, Canada and mainly involved in social cognitive development, conceptual development, and related topics. More specifically, he investigates how children and adults reason about ownership of property, pretense and fiction.


In his featured interview, which you can read here, Ori talks about his interests and research foci,  about the complexity of the topic and reveals his take on the future of ownership. Click here for the full interview.