Owning leads to valuing: Meta‐analysis of the mere ownership effect

Michał BIAŁEK, Yajing GAO, Donna YAO, Gilad FELDMAN*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

2 Citations (Scopus)


Mere ownership effect is the phenomenon that people tend to value what they own more than what they do not own. This classic effect is considered robust, yet effect sizes vary across studies, and the effect is often confused for or confounded with other classic phenomena, such as endowment or mere exposure effects. We conducted a pre-registered meta-analysis of 26 samples published before 2019 (N = 3024), which resulted in psychological ownership on valuing effect of g ∼ 0.57 [0.46, 0.69]. Suggestive moderator analyses supported the use of replica as the strongest moderators. Mere ownership effects were different from the null across all moderator categories and in most publication bias adjustments. We consider this as suggestive evidence that psychological owning leads to valuing, yet caution that much more research is needed. All materials, data, and codes are available on https://osf.io/fdyqw/.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-107
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date2 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

We would like to thank Siu Kit Yeung and Adrien Fillon for their help reviewing the code and the manuscript and their remarkable work on the open Meta Analysis Registered Report templates and support throughout our meta-analysis process. We would like to thank Ignazio Ziano and Farid Anvari for helpful comments on drafts of this article. The author(s) received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • mere ownership effect
  • meta-analysis
  • ownership
  • psychological ownership
  • valuing


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