Accepting ownership of an item is an effective way of associating it with self, evoking self-processing biases that enhance memory. This memory advantage occurs even in ownership games, where items are arbitrarily divided between participants to temporarily ‘own’. The current study tested the educational applications of ownership games across two experiments. In Experiment 1, 7 to 9-year-old children were asked to choose three novel, labelled shapes from an array of nine. The experimenter chose three shapes and three remained ‘un-owned’. A subsequent free-recall test showed that children reliably learned more self-owned than other-owned or un-owned shapes. Experiment 2 replicated this finding for shapes that were assigned to owners rather than chosen, and showed that ownership enhanced memory more effectively than a control game with no ownership manipulation. Together, these experiments show that ownership games can evoke self-processing biases in children’s memory, enhancing learning. Implications for education strategies are discussed.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition|
|Early online date||1 Jun 2018|
|Publication status||Published - Sept 2018|
Bibliographical noteThis project was supported by a Research Project Grant from the Leverhulme Trust (2014-310) awarded to S. Cunningham and J. Ross. We thank Erin Taylor-Bennet for her help with Experiment 2 data collection. We also thank Andrew Butler and three anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments on the manuscript.