Full text: Semantics of ownership

degree to which the different criteria of ownership under 
consideration applied to the particular recall item. 
The third section of the questionnaire was designed to 
elicit more formal, explicit judgements of the criteria 
under consideration. The instructions were: 
Now, consider these statements as arguments OY 
justifications that someone might give for owning 
something. Judge how strong each of these would be as 
arguments for ownership in general. Use the following 
scale, with a low value meaning a weaker argument and 
high value meaning a stronger argument. 
Then each of the criteria was presented in an argument 
format, e.g. "Purchase: I own it because I paid for it." 
Finally, the fourth section of the questionnaire on the last 
page asked follow-up questions about sex, age, educational 
achievement, and recall strategies for listing examples. of 
things that are not owned. Additionally, subjects were 
thanked for their participation, were informed how to return 
the questionnaire, and were given a brief explanation of the 
purpose of the study, as agreed upon in the consent form. 
In total, 100 versions of the questionnaire were 
prepared using a program written in WBASIC, with subsequent 
scripting by the Documentation Compilation Facility of the 
IBM 4341. On each of these versions, the order of the four 
sections of the questionnaire was not changed, but the items 
within the sections were randomly reordered. For example,

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