Grasping the concept of personal property

Constable, Merryn D., Kritikos, Ada and Bayliss, Andrew P. (2011) Grasping the concept of personal property. Cognition, 119 3: 430-437. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2011.02.007

Author Constable, Merryn D.
Kritikos, Ada
Bayliss, Andrew P.
Title Grasping the concept of personal property
Journal name Cognition   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0010-0277
Publication date 2011-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cognition.2011.02.007
Volume 119
Issue 3
Start page 430
End page 437
Total pages 8
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract The concept of property is integral to personal and societal development, yet understanding of the cognitive basis of ownership is limited. Objects are the most basic form of property, so our physical interactions with owned objects may elucidate nuanced aspects of ownership. We gave participants a coffee mug to decorate, use and keep. The experimenter also designed a mug of her own. In Experiment 1, participants performed natural lifting actions with each mug. Participants lifted the Experimenter’s mug with greater care, and moved it slightly more towards the Experimenter, while they lifted their own mug more forcefully and drew it closer to their own body. In Experiment 2, participants responded to stimuli presented on the mug handles in a computer-based stimulus–response compatibility task. Overall, participants were faster to respond in trials in which the handles were facing in the same direction as the response location compared to when the handles were facing away. The compatibility effect was abolished, however, for the Experimenter’s mug – as if the action system is blind to the potential for action towards another person’s property. These findings demonstrate that knowledge of the ownership status of objects influences visuomotor processing in subtle and revealing ways.
Keyword Possessions
Social action
Stimulus-response compatibility
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 14 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 05 Sep 2011, 13:00:07 EST by Merryn Constable on behalf of School of Psychology