Quotation Florack, Arnd, Kleber, Janet, Busch, Romy, Stöhr, David. 2014. Detaching the ties of ownership: The effects of hand washing on the exchange of endowed products. Journal of Consumer Psychology 24 284-289.




Recent studies have demonstrated that the ownership of a product leads to a biased perception of its aspects. Based on research on embodied cognition, we argue that the physical action of hand washing can reset the cognitive system to a more neutral state by reducing the asymmetrical perception of owned and not owned products. In three studies, we examined the effects of hand washing on the endowment effect by asking owners of a product to exchange it for a similar one. As expected, in Experiment 1, we showed that hand washing doubled the percentage of participants who exchanged an owned product for an alternative product. In Experiment 2, we replicated this finding and showed that only the action of hand washing and not a prime of physical cleaning elicited this effect. In Experiment 3, we again replicated the hand washing effect on exchange rates and examined the effect of hand washing on product evaluations. The results of all experiments suggest that hand washing reduces decision preferences that are biased by ownership.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Journal of Consumer Psychology
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new INF-A, MAR-A+, STRAT-A, WH-A
Language English
Title Detaching the ties of ownership: The effects of hand washing on the exchange of endowed products
Volume 24
Year 2014
Page from 284
Page to 289


Kleber, Janet (Former researcher)
Busch, Romy (Universität Wien, Austria)
Florack, Arnd (Universität Wien, Austria)
Stöhr, David (Universität Wien, Austria)
Marketing Management IN (Details)
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