Children's respect for ownership across diverse societies.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Ownership is a cornerstone of many human societies and can be understood as a cooperative arrangement, where individuals refrain from taking each other's property. Owners can thus trust others to respect their property even in their absence. We investigated this principle in 5- to 7-year-olds (N = 152) from 4 diverse societies. Children participated in a resource task with a peer-partner, where we established ownership by assigning children to one side or the other of an apparatus and by marking resources with colors to help children keep track of them. When retrieving resources in the partner's presence, the majority of children took their own things and respected what belonged to their partner. A proportion of children in all societies also respected ownership in their partner's absence, although the strength of respect varied considerably across societies. We discuss implications for the development of ownership concepts and possible explanations for societal differences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kanngiesser, P; Rossano, F; Zeidler, H; Haun, D; Tomasello, M

Published Date

  • November 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 55 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 2286 - 2298

PubMed ID

  • 31380659

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-0599

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-1649

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/dev0000787


  • eng