First Possession Beyond the Law: Adults' and Young Children's Intuitions About Ownership

12 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2009

See all articles by Ori Friedman

Ori Friedman

University of Waterloo - Department of Psychology

Karen Neary

University of Waterloo

Date Written: March 14, 2009

Abstract

In property law, the first possessor of an object has more right to it than all others, and prior possessors have more rights than subsequent possessors. This Article reviews recent research suggesting these principles are implicit in adults' and young children's reasoning about ownership. To explain this correspondence between law and psychology, we propose that people's ownership reasoning is guided by the assumption that the first person known to possess an object is its owner.

Keywords: psychology, cognitive development, property law, first possession, ownership

JEL Classification: K1, K11

Suggested Citation

Friedman, Ori and Neary, Karen, First Possession Beyond the Law: Adults' and Young Children's Intuitions About Ownership (March 14, 2009). Tulane Law Review, Vol. 83, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1359453

Ori Friedman (Contact Author)

University of Waterloo - Department of Psychology ( email )

200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.psychology.uwaterloo.ca/people/faculty/friedman/

Karen Neary

University of Waterloo ( email )

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada

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