Cognitive Science 41 (3):827-843 (2017)

Authors
Ori Friedman
University of Waterloo
Abstract
Young children show competence in reasoning about how ownership affects object use. In the present experiments, we investigate how influential ownership is for young children by examining their explanations. In three experiments, we asked 3- to 5-year-olds to explain why it was acceptable or unacceptable for a person to use an object. In Experiments 1 and 2, older preschoolers referenced ownership more than alternative considerations when explaining why it was acceptable or unacceptable for a person to use an object, even though ownership was not mentioned to them. In Experiment 3, ownership was mentioned to children. Here, younger preschoolers frequently referenced ownership when explaining unacceptability of using an object, but not when explaining why using it was acceptable. These findings suggest that ownership is influential in preschoolers' explanations about the acceptability of using objects, but that the scope of its influence increases with age.
Keywords Conceptual development  Concepts  Ownership  Explanations
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1111/cogs.12358
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The Concept of Property.Frank Snare - 1972 - American Philosophical Quarterly 9 (2):200 - 206.

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