Collaboration and psychological ownership: How does the tension between the two influence perceived learning?

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Collaborative writing may evoke conflict between individuals' feeling of contribution and their sense of ownership toward the collective outcomes. The present study tested the relations between perceived psychological ownership, perceived quality of the product, and perceived learning in five experimental conditions: two collaborative, two sharing, and a control. Analysis of the changes made between versions revealed differences in quantity and in types of changes between collaboration, sharing, and control conditions. Results showed that collaboration may improve the perceived quality of the written product more than sharing or control. In addition, less intrusive collaboration seems to enhance the sense of perceived learning. The relation between perceived ownership and perceived learning was mediated by perceived quality of the written product. We conclude that students may avoid collaboration partly because they do not want to lose a sense of personal ownership or to lessen peer ownership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-298
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Psychology of Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This study was supported by a grant from the Israel Internet Association (ISOC-IL). The authors are grateful to Paul Gorsky for his assistance.


  • Collaboration
  • Ownership
  • Perceived learning


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