Full text: Semantics of ownership

same set of criteria. As a first step in preparing such a 
set, a master list of 40 plausible criteria of ownership was 
compiled. Each criterion was identified by a label and by 
an example expression, both created by the experimenter, 
e.g. Purchase: "I paid for it." (See Appendix A for a 
complete listing of the 40 criteria.) 
One pilot study was undertaken to determine whether or 
not the wordings were adequately clear, and whether or not 
there were additional, important criteria that might have 
been overlooked. (See Appendix B.) Based on the results, 
no new criteria were identified. The example expressions of 
two criteria were modified slightly. ' A second pilot study 
was undertaken to select those criteria for which most 
subjects would be able to list exemplars. (See Appendix C.) 
The selected criteria for use in the major study appear in 
Table 1. Finally, a pilot study was undertaken to determine 
whether or not subjects could sensibly list exemplars of 
things owned and things not owned. (See Appendix D.) The 
results showed that subjects were able to do these tasks 
without apparent difficulty. 
The goal of the major study was to examine the 
semantic intension of the concept of ownership in the 
general population. Employed adults were assumed to be

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