Object-context affects 5-to-6-year-olds’ and adults’ ownership reasoning about artifacts and natural kinds

Jessica Wang, Margaret Anne Defeyter, Rachael Stabler

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Research suggests that children have some understanding of ownership from an early age(Friedman & Neary, 2008; Kanngiesser et al.,2010). However, an issue that is often obscured within the literature has been possible differences between judging ownership of natural kinds versus artifacts when no agent physically possesses an object. The current study investigated the relative importance of object-kind and object-context in adults and 5-to-6-year-old children. Participants were presented with familiar natural kinds and artifacts. They judged whether someone owned the object. Objects were either presented against a neutral context, a congruent context (e.g., an apple under an apple tree), or an incongruent context (e.g., an apple on a bed). Findings reveal that both adults and children judged more artifacts as being owned compared to natural kinds. Furthermore, they were more likely to judge natural kinds as being owned in the incongruent condition compared to the congruent condition. Interestingly, whilst context had no effect on adults’ ownership judgements for artifacts, children judged fewer artifacts as being owned in the incongruent condition compared to the congruent condition. We discuss an historical-narrative account of object ownership (Friedman et al., submitted) incorporating an account of possible developmental differences in notions of abandonment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventBritish Psychological Society Developmental Section Annual Conference - Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …
http://www.bps.org.uk/sites/default/files/images/dev_2011_collated_final_program_220811_sml.pdf

Conference

ConferenceBritish Psychological Society Developmental Section Annual Conference
Period1/01/11 → …
Internet address

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