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"MINE!": Kids and the Concept of Ownership

Michael Newman

Most of us know the phrase, “as easy as taking candy from a baby.” It is also common knowledge that if you do take the candy away, the baby will likely cry. But is the child crying simply because it wants the candy or is the kid upset because he or she understands the concept of ownership and feels wronged when that candy is forcibly removed from its hand?

"One of the really interesting things about ownership, different from other kinds of rights or statuses that we have in society, is that it can really easily be transferred," says Chalres Kalish, Professor of Educational Psychology at UW Madison.

Radio Chipstone contributor Gianofer Fields got to wondering about children and how they perceived ownership:

Gianofer Fields studies material culture at UW-Madison and is the curator of "Radio Chipstone" - a project funded by the Chipstone Foundation, a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.

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