Full text: Semantics of ownership

the criteria used by subjects in determining ownership is to 
have them perform a task in which such criteria would be 
implicit. One reasonable task is free recall of what is 
owned by each particular owner and what is not owned. - By 
this method, subjects would list exemplars of what they own 
and what they do not own. They would then indicate the 
applicability of each criterion of ownership to each 
exemplar. The subjects might or might not be aware of the 
criteria by which they enumerated their exemplars. This 
approach should detect the salient features of ownership 
criteria actually in use in cognitive habits of individuals 
in the sample. 
free Recall 
There is a long tradition of using free recall as a 
research task in semantics. Bousfield & Sedgewick (1944) 
first described the task in which the subjects list 
exemplars of given categories, such as animals, U.S. ‘cities, 
foods they like, etc. It was early noted that subjects tend 
to give responses in bursts, or temporal clusters, of 
associatively related items. This phenomenon has been noted 
by others since, and the generally accepted model for free 
recall is that subjects search for and identify relevent 
associative clusters of items and successively "dump" the 
items in each cluster (Pollio, 1964; Herrmann & Pearle, 
1981). To allow more experimental control and manipulation,

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