Claudia Scorolli, Anna M. Borghi, Luca Tummolini

Visual cues and implicit judgments of ownership: An experimental study

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Informations and abstract

Keywords: Ownership Judgments; First Possession; Private Property; Language; Embodiment.

Psychological evidence has shown that even small children rely on a number of physical cues of agent-object relationship to determine objects' ownership. These studies however typically assume that object-ownership is an abstract concept that is inferred from salient visual stimuli leaving open how such concept is represented. In two experiments, we used the same context to determine whether different visual cues (spatial proximity and temporal priority) ground the sense of object-ownership as measured by a sensibility judgment task. Results show that subjects were faster when the objects were located in the peripersonal space of the character to whom ownership was ascribed by the sentence and when there was a match between the «first finder» and the sentence subject. Overall our data provide initial evidence that a basic sense of ownership is partially grounded in perceptual experiences.

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