First possession, history, and young children’s ownership judgments

Friedman, Ori, van de Vondervoort, Julia, Defeyter, Margaret Anne (Greta) and Neary, Karen (2013) First possession, history, and young children’s ownership judgments. Child Development, 84 (5). pp. 1519-1525. ISSN 0009-3920

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)
Official URL:


It is impossible to perceive who owns an object; this must be inferred. One way that children make such inferences is through a first possession bias—when two agents each use an object, children judge the object belongs to the one who used it first. Two experiments show that this bias does not result from children directly inferring ownership from first possession; the experiments instead support an alternative account according to which the first possession bias reflects children's historical reasoning. In Experiment 1, eighty-five 3- to 5-year-olds only based inferences on first possession when it was informative about the past. In Experiment 2, thirty-two 5-year-olds based ownership judgments on testimony about past contact, while disregarding testimony about future contact.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2013 17:03
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 17:25

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics