ERIC Number: EJ1025324
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
First Possession, History, and Young Children's Ownership Judgments
Friedman, Ori; Vondervoort, Julia W.; Defeyter, Margaret A.; Neary, Karen R.
Child Development, v84 n5 p1519-1525 Sep-Oct 2013
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.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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