Though the success of intellectual property law depends upon its ability to affect human perception and behavior, the public psychology of intellectual property has barely been explored. Over 1700 U.S. adults took part in an experimental study designed to investigate popular conceptions of intellectual property rights. Respondents’ views of what intellectual property rights should be differed substantially from actual law, and popular conceptions of the basis for intellectual property rights are contrary to commonly accepted bases relied on in legal and policy decision-making. Linear regression analysis reveals previously unrecognized cultural divides concerning intellectual property based on people’s income, age, education, political ideology, and gender.
Mandel, Gregory N., The Public Psychology of Intellectual Property (March 27, 2013).