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When possessions become part of the self: ownership and implicit self-object linking

When possessions become part of the self: ownership and implicit self-object linking

Ye, Yang ORCID: 0000-0001-7142-3869 and Gawronski, Bertram (2016) When possessions become part of the self: ownership and implicit self-object linking. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 64. pp. 72-87. ISSN 0022-1031 (doi:

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Previous research suggests that ownership influences self-perceptions and behaviors. According to dominant theories in this area, a key to understanding the effects of ownership is the mental association between the owner and the owned object. However, little is known about the formation of such associations. Drawing on principles of associative network theories, the present research investigated the effects of two types of ownership situations, mere-ownership and ownership-by-choice, on implicit self-object linking (i.e., the behavior of automatically connecting a person’s self and a given object on an implicit measure). In Study 1, mere-ownership influenced implicit self-object linking for positive, but not for negative, objects. In Study 2, ownership of negative objects influenced implicit self-object linking in ownership-by-choice but not mere-ownership situations. Studies 3 to 5 replicated the effect of ownership-by-choice on implicit self-object linking for negative objects and further demonstrated its independence of pre-existing differences in relevant object properties, ownership expectations, and physical ownership. The findings are discussed with reference to existing theories and research on associative representation, decision-making and choice, and the self.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: association, choice, implicit measures, ownership, self
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 01 May 2020 13:03
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 1

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