When my object becomes me : the mere ownership of an object elevates domain-specific self-efficacy

Victoria Wai-lan YEUNG, Steve LOUGHNAN, Yoshihisa KASHIMA, Vivian Miu-Chi LUN, Susanna Siu-sze YEUNG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

3 Citations (Scopus)


Past research on the mere ownership effect has shown that when people own an object, they perceive the owned objects more favorably than the comparable non-owned objects. The present research extends this idea, showing that when people own an object functional to the self, they perceive an increase in their self-efficacy. Three studies were conducted to demonstrate this new form of the mere ownership effect. In Study 1, participants reported an increase in their knowledge level by the mere ownership of reading materials (a reading package in Study 1a, and lecture notes in Study 1b). In Study 2, participants reported an increase in their resilience to sleepiness by merely owning a piece of chocolate that purportedly had a sleepiness-combating function. In Study 3, participants who merely owned a flower essence that is claimed to boost creativity reported having higher creativity efficacy. The findings provided insights on how associations with objects alter one's self-perception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-741
Number of pages32
JournalApplied Psychology
Issue number4
Early online date3 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


Bibliographical note

The research was supported by the Direct Grant (DR12C2) from Lingnan University given to the first author.

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