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Is this mine? Psychological ownership and the social media follower

Caroline S.L. Tan (Graduate School of Business Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tokyo, Japan)

Young Consumers

ISSN: 1747-3616

Article publication date: 14 July 2021

Issue publication date: 23 March 2022




The purpose of this study is to examine psychological ownership (PO) experienced by followers of social media influencers toward both influencer and the product.


Data were collected using face-to-face semi-structured interviews that were conducted with 30 respondents and analyzed using thematic analysis.


The study demonstrated that the PO experienced by the follower changes under different conditions resulting from perceived value, social currency and follower activity. Social currency plays a vital role in determining the target of PO, often affecting the narrative by the follower.


To the best of the author’s knowledge, this is the first paper to examine the transference of PO between product and influencer as experienced by the follower. It provides an understanding on PO that is experienced in different levels of intensity and changes depending on the motive of the follower; hence, transference of PO occurs and it is not a static.



Tan, C.S.L. (2022), "Is this mine? Psychological ownership and the social media follower", Young Consumers, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 33-52.



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