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Consumer Psychological Ownership of Digital Technology

  • Colleen P. KirkEmail author
  • Scott D. Swain

Abstract

In this chapter, we present evidence that despite the intangible nature of digital technologies, consumers often come to feel psychological ownership of these technologies. Further, we find that digital technologies often facilitate the emergence of psychological ownership of non-digital targets. Digital affordances appear to play a key role in these processes. Digital affordances are characteristics of a digital technology object that facilitate users’ abilities to appropriate or engage with the technology (e.g., interactive design elements and interfaces) and can constrain or expand users’ opportunities for developing feelings of ownership for a digital target. Additionally, consumers’ motivational orientations and individual differences impact the extent to which they choose to leverage digital affordances and thus the extent to which affordances translate into feelings of ownership. We review research conducted in diverse digital contexts (e.g., websites, remixed content, virtual worlds, gaming, social media, virtual communities) and identify current implications for managers as well as future opportunities for researchers.

Keywords

Digital technology Psychological ownership Social media Digital content Gaming Interactivity Interface design Technology adoption Technology appropriation Digital affordances 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York Institute of TechnologyNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Clemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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