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My Pet Rock and Me: An Experimental Exploration of the Self Extension Concept

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2004 by Tina Kiesler, Sara Kiesler
We examine Belk’s (1988) construct of self extension experimentally. Participants were given a small rock and randomly assigned to design the rock for themselves or to sell. The participants who designed the rock for themselves were more likely than sellers to say the rock symbolized themselves. Participants whose rock symbolized themselves rated its personality more similarly to their ratings of themselves than did other participants, and were less agreeable to making their rock into a product line of pet rocks. We explore process explanations for our results.