Full text: Semantics of ownership

ownership has not been developed as a coherent topic within 
the psychology literature. However, two related areas are 
currently active: human territoriality and child social 
Territoriality has a long tradition of association 
with the concepts of property and ownership. This has 
followed largely from Darwinian evolutionary theories that 
human behavior can be understood in reference to antecedent 
animal behaviors. Letourneau's 1892 text, Property: ‘Its 
Origins and Development, explicitly endorsed the notion that 
human ownership behavior was an extension of animal 
territoriality. Forty years later, the text by Beaglehole 
(1932) still carried an extensive review of the animal 
territoriality literature, but without the strong assertions 
of a relaciondhip to human ownership behavior. More 
recently still, Altman's (1975) popular text on 
territoriality, The Environment and Social Behavior, makes 
slight mention of ownership and property, but does note that 
animals and humans diverge with respect to "object and idea 
territoriality" (p. 108). 
Human territoriality has since become a topic of 
psychological study in its own right, without apparent 
claims of generalizability to human ownership behavior. 
Definitions of human territoriality have tended to emphasize

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