Separating the effects of preference from ownership in hand-object interactions.

Merryn Constable, Andrew Bayliss, Ottmar Lipp, Ada Kritikos

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Recently, the concept of ownership over objects has received a burst of attention within the cognitive domain.
The role of preference – specifically, choosing one object over another – however, has not been addressed. That
is, simply owning an object results in a preference for that object (‘mere-ownership’ effect, Beggan, 1992). As a
result, research purporting to demonstrate ownership-related effects in attention, memory, and kinematics may, in
fact, simply reflect on preference. Here I present two studies demonstrating kinematic patterns associated with
preference for and ownership over three different mugs during a natural lift. I report on three critical measures
of interest taken during upward movement: rightward drift, towards-body drift, and peak acceleration. When the
three mugs differed in terms of ownership we observed a greater rightward drift associated with the experimenter’s
mug compared with the participant’s and the unowned mug. We also observed the greatest towards-body drift and
peak acceleration when participants lifted their own mugs. When the three mugs differed in terms of preference,
but not in ownership, only the effect in towards-body drift remained . These results suggest that preference can
account for some of the previously reported kinematic patterns associated with ownership but there are distinct
patterns linked exclusively with ownership.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event40th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference - The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 3 Apr 20136 Apr 2013


Conference40th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference
Internet address


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