Briefly induced belongingness to self and preference



The hypothesis was tested that mere ownership of an object ( in casu an abstract symbol)is a sufficient condition to enhance its attractiveness. The evidence was obtained through experimental manipulation of belongingness rather than in a quasi-experimental context as was the case with the name letter effect, a preference for letters occurring in the own name above not-own name letters which has been presented as the first evidence supporting the mere ownership hypothesis. Alternative explanations for the present results in terms of stimulus complexity and mere exposure are briefly presented en ruled out.