Psychological ownership affordances as routes to influence product lifetime

Authors Dirk Ploos van Amstel , Lenneke Kuijer , Remko van der Lugt
Publication date 26 May 2021
Research groups Co-design
Type Lecture


Extending the lifespan of products can be approached in several ways. One promising way is to give users a greater sense of ownership of the products that are used. In the context of Product Service Systems (PSS), products are often used temporarily, shared with others, and offered through a technology-mediated environment. Not much is known about psychological ownership in this context. To evaluate psychological ownership affordances as an intermediate knowledge tool in the context of PSS, we started a case study focused on a bicycle sharing service of The Student Hotel (TSH). The central question was how a design approach, based on psychological ownership, can help to redesign the bicycle-service of TSH to contribute to extended lifespans of the bicycles. This resulted in ten exemplary designs as project outcomes and two implemented design interventions in a TSH branch. All project members and stakeholders (app supplier X-bike and Roetz-bikes mechanics) and students of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and Utrecht University of Applied Sciences (HU) (n=42) were interviewed on process efficiency, process quality and design quality at the end of the collaboration. We performed a qualitative analysis to identify when and how the team members applied the design tool, how these obstructed or supported the design process, and if the team members show shared understanding of the behavioral and/or social consequences of their decisions. The results show both top-down and bottom-up insights, leading to four suggestions for adapting the existing model as an intermediate knowledge tool: (1) being more goal-oriented, (2) consider a hierarchy of affordances, (3) consider to add a new affordance and (4) recognize a more active role of the service provider.


Language English
Key words psychological ownership, Product Service Systems, intermediate knowledge, process efficiency, process quality, design quality

Dirk Ploos van Amstel