Grasping the concept of personal property

Constable, Merryn D., Kritikos, Ada and Bayliss, Andrew P. ORCID: (2011) Grasping the concept of personal property. Cognition, 119 (3). pp. 430-437. ISSN 1873-7838

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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.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Social Cognition Research Group
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Sciences
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2015 14:00
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2023 05:33
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2011.02.007

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