Impact of ownership on liking and value: Replications and extensions of three ownership effect experiments

Ignazio ZIANO, Jing Dan YAO, Yajing GAO, Gilad FELDMAN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The ownership effect is the phenomenon that owning an object increases liking and perceived value of that object (Beggan, 1992). We conducted close replications of three ownership effect experiments using different paradigms in two data collections (MTurk, total n = 1312). We successfully replicated Nuttin's (1987) name-letter effect with participants rating a higher liking for letters of the alphabet included in their first names (vs. letters not included) (Study 1: d = 1.08 to 1.42). We found partial support for Mandel (2002), with participants indicating higher price for an object when they were the owners (vs. non-owners) (original: d = 0.50; Study 3a: d = 0.65; Study 3b: d = 0.49), but mixed findings regarding the hypothesized moderator. Finally, we failed to find support for Irmak, Wakslak, and Trope's (2013) study that showed differences in prices set by sellers/owners and buyers (original: d = 0.99; Study 2a: d = 0.10; Study 2b: d = 0.01 to 0.06). Our results suggest that ownership effects may depend on the paradigm of choice. We discuss potential moderators of the ownership effect and suggest future research directions. Materials, datasets, and code are available on
Original languageEnglish
Article number103972
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Early online date19 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Contributed equally, joint first author.

We would like to thank Farid Anvari, Jerome Olsen, Subramanya Prasad Chandrashekar, and Jieying Chen for their reviews and insightful comments.


  • Ownership
  • Ownership effect
  • Subjective valuation
  • Judgment and decision-making
  • Replication


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