Full text: Semantics of ownership

(Shephard, 1972) were made on a symmetrical 12 point scale, 
ranging 6 to 1 and 1 to 6. Each subject received a unique 
sampling of 117 of the 720 possible pairings. Order of pair 
presentation was balanced across subjects. 
Results: A tabulaton of the follow-up questions showed 
that, of the 30 subjects who were asked to describe two 
additional criteria, only 18 were able to respond, and most 
of those responses were restatements of the 40 criteria. 
Four subjects wrote, "I earned it.", three subjects, "I won 
it.", and two, "I deserve it." However, "I earned it." was 
deemed equivalent to "I paid for it.", and "I deserve it." 
seemed too broad a criterion, basing ownership on a general 
appeal to justice. The expression, "I won it." was 
incorporated into the list of criteria by rewording the 
example expression of Spoils to read "I won it by defeating 
the former owners.” 
Of the combined 70 subjects, five gave specific 
examples of items that they thought were poorly worded: 
"It recognizes and likes me." (Noted by 2 subjects.) 
"It is a part of me." (Noted by 2 subjects.) 
"I am the only one who wants it." 
"I can and will defend it." 
"The plan for it was my idea." 
The first four of these were noted by subjects doing the 
dominance scaling task. In the context of two contending 
parties presenting arguments to claim ownership of the same 
object, the criteria "It is a part of me." and "I am the

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