PSYC Seminar: “How Young Children Understand Ownership and Judge Accordingly”, F. Cansu Pala, 12:30Noon March 10 (EN)

Please join Bilkent University’s Psychology Department on Friday for the visit of Dr Cansu Pala.

Speaker: F. Cansu Pala, Ege University

“How Young Children Understand Ownership and Judge Accordingly”

Date: Friday, 10 March 2023
Time: 12:30
Room: A 228

Ownership is an abstract connection, often without any physical cues, between an object and a person that grants them some rights. The beginning to recognize which object belongs to whom is around the eighteenth month. However, a sophisticated understanding of ownership requires better mental representation. The ownership consists of which objects can be owned, ownership decisions, and how property rights and privileges are transferred. For a comprehensive measure, we identified five dimensions which were (1) basic ownership information, (2) type of objects: artifacts (e.g. shoe) or natural objects (e.g. twigs), (3) biases to judge ownership (e.g. first owner), (4) rights and (5) transfer of ownership. Each dimension had a scenario to attribute ownership to a protagonist. Children aged between 37-96 months (N=166; 86 female) were assessed by this novel ownership battery consisting of 24 vignettes and a language test at their preschools. In the first dimension, 3 –years-olds performed significantly poorer than the rest of the children. In the second dimension, in all age groups, artifacts were viewed as owned by 79% of children, and natural objects were viewed as owned only by 25%. Older children showed bias towards the first owner and used proximity cues (bias). In addition, they preferred verbal information to visual information in the ownership decisions. Along with others, older children’s better understanding of rights and recognition of ownership transfers suggest a developmental pattern. Language ability was also related to ownership understanding. This research is among the few studies investigating ownership development in non-English speaking settings.

About the speaker:
F. Cansu Pala received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Yeditepe University in 2008. She then earned her MSc (2010) and PhD (2015) in developmental psychology from Lancaster University (UK). Her doctoral research was on the role of cognitive and emotional processes in the self-regulation skills of Turkish and English children. Her research focuses on cognitive and emotional development in early childhood: executive functions, the theory of mind, emotion regulation, and their relationships. With her research group in the Ege Bilişsel Gelişim Laboratory, she studies ownership, emotional socialization, and prosocial skills at Ege University. (