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Mere Ownership Effect

Definition

The mere ownership effect refers to an individual's tendency to evaluate an object more favorably merely because he or she owns it. The endowment effect is a related phenomenon that concerns the finding that sellers require more money to sell an object than buyers are willing to pay for it. Taken together, these phenomena indicate that ownership is a psychologically meaningful variable that can influence the way that one thinks about and evaluates objects in the external world.

Context and Importance

The mere ownership effect has been hypothesized to occur because people are motivated to see themselves in a positive light. Thus, the mere ownership effect illustrates the importance of the self in mediating how people interpret the world.

Self-concept refers to the beliefs a person holds about ...

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