Convergence: Connecting Levels of Analysis in Psychological Science
 In the past, our field harbored distinct, and often competing, schools of thought that tackled different problems and produced findings that often appeared to diverge. Today, investigators attack shared problems at complementary levels of analysis and produce results that converge. Studies of people in a social world; mental systems of cognition and emotion; and biological mechanisms of the genome and the nervous system interconnect and yield an integrated psychological science. The APS 23rd Annual Convention displays, and celebrates, these advances in our field.


Owning Ideas and Things: Evidence That We Own Early and Often

Saturday, May 28, 2011, 9:00 AM - 10:20 AM

Chair: Kristina R. Olson
Yale University

Despite the centrality of ownership in our everyday lives, the psychology literature has paid little attention to this aspect of human behavior. In this symposium, we highlight some of the exciting new work happening in the psychology of ownership, including work from behavioral economics, developmental, social, comparative, and clinical psychology.

Children’s Inferences about Ownership, and the Privileges it Confers
Ori Friedman
University of Waterloo, Canada
Disputes over objects are common in early childhood, and so preschoolers might be expected to have only a limited appreciation of ownership. Contrary to this, we show that they draw on sophisticated principles in reasoning about ownership, and that they may value ownership more strongly than adults do.

Co-Author: Karen Neary, University of Waterloo, Canada

“That’s My Idea!”: Children’s Understanding of Intellectual Property
Kristina R. Olson
Yale University
As any parent can attest, “that’s mine!” is a common refrain throughout childhood. In this research, we question when children first apply principles of ownership to the domain of ideas. We explore children's and adults’ understandings of plagiarism, differences between physical and intellectual property, and why we value ideas.

Co-Author: Alex Shaw, Yale University

Co-Author: Vivian Li, Yale University

Co-Author: Jennifer Barnes, Yale University

Falling in Love with Our Own Ideas: The Not-Ideated-Here Syndrome
Dan Ariely
Duke University
How do people evaluate ideas they create? We show that ownership holds for ideas, and that it holds even when people only think that they have created the ideas. This work extends the literature on mere ownership, the "Not Invented Here" syndrome, and has implications for researchers’ pet projects.

Co-Author: Stephen A. Spiller, Duke University

Co-Author: Rachel Barkan, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Beyond utility: Understanding our fetish for material possessions
Stephanie Preston
University of Michigan
Humans appear naturally "acquisitive"—wanting to acquire and possess goods, even those they don’t need, use, or display. We have examined this phenomenon from multiple perspectives (i.e., individual differences, pathology, behavior, neuroimaging). Overall, people’s material desires appear to be adaptive and become irrational under the influence of anxiety, uncertainty, and overthinking.

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