Full text: Semantics of ownership

the topic of ownership, has grown out of interest in 
children's friendship and sharing behaviors (Staub & 
Noeremberg, 1981). Eisenberg-Berg, Haake & Bartlett (1981), 
improving on an earlier study (Eisenberg-Berg, Haake, Hand & 
Sadalla, 1979), found that 2 1/2 to 3 year old children who 
were told a toy was theirs to keep were more likely to 
maintain possession of the toy, to verbally and physically 
defend it and to share it less. In another study of 2 1/2 
to 3 year olds, Eisenberg, Bartlett & Haake (in press) found 
that possession of a toy was not interpreted as an ownership 
cue. They also found that many of the children could 
correctly identify the owners of familiar objects. Rodgon & 
Roshmon (1976) found that slightly younger children (14 - 32 
month olds) could not identify the owners of familiar 
objects. In sum, the developmental literature does show 
that pre-school children aged 2 to 3 are beginning to 
understand the rules of ownership and the language of 
ownership, particularly in reference to themselves. 
However, none of the studies cited attempted to elaborate 
upon what the rules of ownership might be. 
Finally, one study within the domain of psychology 
pertains directly to the topic of ownership and deserves 
discussion in detail. In a statistical tutorial concerned 
with multi-dimensional scaling and cluster analysis, 
Rapoport & Fillenbaum (1972) collected demonstration data on

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