Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Business Administration

Committee Chair

Joseph F. Hair


Psychological ownership is a cognitive-affective state experienced by individuals who feel a sense of ownership over a target of possession–material or non-material–but often do not have an actual ownership relationship with the target of possession. Psychological ownership literature categorizes four motives that are at the root of the experience of psychological ownership: (a) effectance, (b) self-identity, (c) having a place, and (d) stimulation. Analyzed in the context of social media, different engagement behaviors (creating content, liking, commenting, or observing) are associated with distinct psychological ownership motives. In addition, consumer brand engagement is positively related with psychological ownership. An alternative consumer-related concept, brand disidentification, moderated the relationship between engagement behaviors and ownership motives, depending upon the type of engagement activity performed. Ultimately, psychological ownership exhibited a positive influence on consumer intentions (attitudes towards and enjoyment of using a brand). Theoretical and managerial implications are proposed based on the findings to advance current knowledge of psychological ownership motives, consumer engagement, consumer-brand disidentification, and psychological ownership.