In Search of a Surrogate For Touch: the Effect of Haptic Imagery on Psychological Ownership and Object Valuation

Joann Peck, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Victor Barger, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Previous research has shown that consumers value objects more highly if they own them, which is termed the endowment effect. This effect extends beyond legal ownership to psychological ownership, which can arise simply from touching an object. We explore the possibility of using touch (haptic) imagery as a surrogate for actual touch. Two experiments demonstrate that an increase in psychological ownership and valuation can be obtained by having consumers close their eyes and visualize touching an object; moreover, this increase is similar in magnitude to that obtained from having consumers actually touch the object. Haptic interference is also examined.
[ to cite ]:
Joann Peck and Victor Barger (2009) ,"In Search of a Surrogate For Touch: the Effect of Haptic Imagery on Psychological Ownership and Object Valuation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 127-130.