After witnessing the “violent rage” shown by babies whenever deprived of an item they considered their own, Jean Piaget – a founding father of child psychology – observed something profound about human nature: Our sense of ownership emerges incredibly early. But why do we become so attached to things? Christian Jarrett details the psychology of ownership.

Animated by Avi Ofer. Read more about this TED Ed lesson, plus read more from Dr. Jarrett on the psychology of stuff and things.

More about humans: How to Understand Power, The Uses of Envy, and How to Stop Yourself from Being Ticklish.

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