“That’s Mine!”: Goal-directed actions towards self- and other-owned objects

Adams, Carissa (2014). “That’s Mine!”: Goal-directed actions towards self- and other-owned objects Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Adams, Carissa
Thesis Title “That’s Mine!”: Goal-directed actions towards self- and other-owned objects
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-08
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Ada Kritikos
Total pages 79
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary The concept of ownership can be measured by examining behavioural differences between interaction with self-owned and other-owned items. The current experiment had two primary aims. The first goal was to determine if the behavioural ownership effect is evident when ownership is merely verbally assigned. The second aim was to investigate whether the identity of the other-owner changed how people interacted with other-owned objects. To do this, I modified the shopping basket paradigm, originally used by Cunningham, Turk and Macdonald (2008), to also examine kinematic reach and grasp parameters. Participants were presented with a series of wooden toy cubes decorated with animal pictures. They were then told that each toy either belonged to them, or to the “other”, which depending on which condition they were in, was their mother, a close same-gendered friend, or a stranger. Participants were required to reach out and grasp each toy block, and then correctly sort it into their own box or the other-owned box. After each toy had been sorted once, participants took part in a memory test where they were required to categorise pictures as old or new, depending if they had seen them on the toy cubes or not. In line with past literature, it was found that participants’ vertical (z) reach trajectory was more direct for self-owned compared to other-owned. However, contrary to the extended self theory that we will treat our mothers’ objects as we do our own, it was found that horizontal (x) reach trajectories were more direct for one’s own toys compared to their mother’s. Contrary to expectations, there was no difference in behaviour towards friend-owned and stranger-owned toy cubes compared to self-owned toys. In addition, the memory advantage for self-owned items originally found by Cunningham et al. (2008) could not be replicated. It was concluded that merely assigned ownership is enough to establish the ownership effect. However, object value and participants’ attachment to the other-owner may have also influenced the findings.
Keyword goal-directed

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Created: Mon, 27 Apr 2015, 13:43:52 EST by Anita Whybrow on behalf of School of Psychology