It’s Mine: The State of Psychological Ownership

There are two types of ownership. There’s legal ownership, wherein a person has a claim to an asset or property, physical or intellectual, that is recognizable by law. There’s also psychological ownership, a state or feeling of possession, which may or may not be directly derived from legal ownership of an object.

People can develop a sense of ownership to any tangible thing, such as a toy, a product, a desk, a specific area in a house, and any intangible thing such as an idea or a certain inclination. This blog will discuss how this sense of ownership affects a person’s life as well as influence major life decisions.

Positive Aspect

The state of psychological ownership is widely studied in behavioural psychology. Researchers argue that while several positive outcomes can stem from psychological ownership, the negative outcomes are especially challenging. Loss of possession—say, losing a whole house to a fire—could lead to interpersonal conflicts and feelings of grief, not much about the monetary estimate of the damages incurred but more about sentimental loss.

As early as infancy, people already develop a strong sense of ownership of something. It begins with a toy, and then a nursery, and as the years progress, the scope gets wider. A person who develops a strong sense of place and social inclination develops a sense of ownership towards the community or the nation, from which the person considers himself or herself a steward of the shared land.

According to studies in psychology, ownership emerges in three ways; control, intimate knowledge and self-investment. Objects become the extension of the self over which a person exercises control. People work hard and invest in tangible things to earn a sense of gratification, a reward, and sentimental value emerges.

The object then becomes the symbol of a person’s hard work and success. Psychologists argue that sense of ownership and feelings of possession influence human attitude, behaviour and motivation. They also have strong links with the overall well-being of a person.

Negative Aspect

As much as it is a great thing to have a sense of responsibility for something, psychological ownership can have negative effects on a person’s behaviour as well. People incur and own things for personal satisfaction, which could lead to material indulgence or obsession.

People who harbour an increased sense of ownership, such as in the case of hoarding, the person may also develop a resistance to change and unwillingness to accept advice. Loss of an asset or property could lead to interpersonal conflict and feelings of personal loss, which could also lead to other psychological problems.

There are desirable things that stem from owning something we have invested in. Perhaps this is why it’s often hard for us to let go of things we know we no longer need. But there are things we don’t always have to let go because they may serve us again in the future.

For that, Perth Metro Storage is here to give you the best solution with our low-cost storage units in Perth. Contact us today and put your valuable belongings in good hands.