Many people chalk it up to bad behavior. But marketers like me have a term to spell it out one feeling that contributes to it: psychological ownership. Perhaps you have experienced as though another drivers stole your parking place ever? Or were supremely miffed when another person nabbed the last red sweater you had your eye on? And isn’t it irritating when someone else gets credit for your idea?
If so, you experienced emotional ownership. In other words, we often take ownership over a thing or service inside our minds before we actually give up the cash that makes it lawfully ours. And retailers use this psychological trick to get us to buy more of their stuff – or spend more.
It also makes us more likely to brag about our buys, valuable word-of-mouth advertising for those brands. While the idea itself is well-known, there’s been little research about how people actually respond when someone seems to infringe on their psychological ownership. My colleagues Joann Scott and Peck Swain and I conducted several studies to learn. Psychological ownership can be an important concept in marketing. Sellers are motivated to elicit it because having it certainly makes you want to buy their goods.
An example of this is potato chip machine Lay’s “Do Me a Flavor” contest, which began in 2008 and asked customers to suggest and vote on new chip tastes. By tickling customers’ sense of ownership in the merchandise and the brand, it was a amazing success in markets around the global world. But it doesn’t have to be always a major campaign.
A simple advertisement or invitation to touch can have the same impact. When you can touch or control something or picture doing so even. A good example is putting something in your shopping cart software – whether physical or virtual online. When you have customized something or invested your efforts in designing it. Intimate knowledge. If you was raised with something, have always used it or have a unique or special way of using it, the chances are good you feel psychological possession over it.
Furthermore, you can feel emotional ownership over just about anything that doesn’t legally participate in you, from the last chocolates truffle in a screen case to the wish home you entirely on Zillow, and even intangible things such as ideas. To learn how people react when their psychologically owned property is threatened, my colleagues and I conducted a series of experiments.
- Mental characteristics of candidates are examined
- Terms Apply See Rates & Fees
- Yours truly
- 5+ many years of relevant experience
- Receipt and delivery of small value remittances/ other payment tools
- Build a FaceBook lover web page for your crafts business
- The U.S. Gift Tax
- Customers don’t need to make high onetime investments
Each was made to elicit or manipulate feelings of possession in consumers and then have other folks communicate, or indication, psychological possession of the same product. In the first one, 58 university students participated in a simulated eating study in our laboratory. At one point, they each poured themselves a sit down elsewhere from a bar and customized it with condiments like sugars, frothed syrup and milk, which helped create strong feelings of ownership of the coffee. Later, after serving participants a piece of cake at their desk, a waiter asked, “Is everything OK?” The waiter also, in half the cases, moved their coffee glass for no apparent reason.
After the “bill” came, we discovered that participants whose espresso cup was shifted tipped the server 25 percent less. Inside a subsequent study, these participants reported that they felt the server experienced infringed on the place and said they’d be less inclined to return to such a restaurant. A second experiment prolonged this territorial feeling to something less tangible: an artistic design.