Ownership is a fundamental concept to human beings. We all have a natural desire to own things, whether they are physical objects, ideas, or experiences. But can we experience ownership for public places, digital data, or even our spouse? When is a claim of ownership legitimate? As part of the opening of the POP Library at the WU Vienna, Bernadette Kamleitner and Joann Peck explored these questions, revealing fascinating insights about the science of ownership.
While legal ownership is crucial in many contexts, such as property rights and intellectual property, our emotional attachment to things often goes beyond legal ownership. We can feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for things that we do not legally own, such as a public park or a shared cultural tradition. This distinction between legal and psychological ownership is particularly relevant in the digital age. Our digital identities are a reflection of who we are, and the data we generate is a record of our lives. As such, do we have a sense of ownership over our data? And can we feel a stronger sense of ownership for some things than for others?
Bernadette Kamleitner and Joann Peck discuss the role of ownership in society and our most valuable possessions. Find out more about the science of ownership in the video below.