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Ownership principle

 

Principles > Ownership principle

Principle | How it works | So what?
 

Principle

That which I have is mine. That which is mine is better.

How it works

When people own something, it becomes a part of their identity as the they bond with it. They thus value it higher than if they did not own it.

We can not only own things but also people and ideas.

Loss

A key part of the sense of ownership is the discomfort we feel when we think about losing the item. It is as if a part of our selves is being ripped away.

Possession

From psychoanalysis there is a principle of 'possession', where one person seeks to own another, completely taking control of them. Typically, this is a man possessing a woman.

Virtual ownership

A person does not need to have to own something for this effect to happen. People who bid at auctions have a sense of ownership and so bid beyond their limit. People who take products on trial end up feeling a sense of ownership and end up buying them.

So what?

When selling things you own, price according to the buyer, not your emotional attachment to it. When buying things from others, seek to decrease their sense of ownership.

Let people try things out: just holding or trying things helps build ownership. Hold auctions.

See also

Endowment Effect

 

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