Evolution of consumption: a psychological ownership framework
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Citation (published version)Morewedge, C. K., Monga, A., Palmatier, R. W., Shu, S. B., & Small, D. A. (2020). Evolution of Consumption: A Psychological Ownership Framework. Journal of Marketing. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022242920957007
Technological innovations are creating new products, services, and markets that satisfy enduring consumer needs. These technological innovations create value for consumers and firms in many ways, but they also disrupt psychological ownership––the feeling that a thing is “MINE.” The authors describe two key dimensions of this technology-driven evolution of consumption pertaining to psychological ownership: (1) replacing legal ownership of private goods with legal access rights to goods and services owned and used by others and (2) replacing “solid” material goods with “liquid” experiential goods. They propose that these consumption changes can have three effects on psychological ownership: they can threaten it, cause it to transfer to other targets, and create new opportunities to preserve it. These changes and their effects are organized in a framework and examined across three macro trends in marketing: (1) growth of the sharing economy, (2) digitization of goods and services, and (3) expansion of personal data. This psychological ownership framework generates future research opportunities and actionable marketing strategies for firms aiming to preserve the positive consequences of psychological ownership and navigate cases for which it is a liability.