Exploring the self-ownership effect: Separating stimulus and response biases

Marius Golubickis* (Corresponding Author), Johanna Katariina Falben, William A. Cunningham, C. Neil MacRae

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Although ownership is acknowledged to exert a potent influence on various aspects of information processing, the origin of these effects remains largely unknown. Based on the demonstration that self-relevance facilitates perceptual judgments (i.e., the self-prioritization effect), here we explored the possibility that ownership enhances object categorization. The results of two experiments supported this prediction. Compared with items owned by a stranger (Expt. 1) or best friend (Expt. 2), those owned by the self were classified most rapidly (i.e., self-ownership effect) in an object-categorization task. To establish the basis of this effect, the processes underlying task performance were interrogated using a hierarchical drift diffusion model (HDDM) approach. Results of these analyses revealed that self-ownership was underpinned by a response bias (i.e., starting point of evidence accumulation). These findings explicate the origin of the ownership effect during object processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-306
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition
Issue number2
Early online date21 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • self
  • ownership
  • decision-making
  • social cognition
  • drift diffusion model


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