What is the Ikea effect? The pleasure of doing things for yourself

What is the Ikea effect? The pleasure of doing things for yourself

Why buy a piece of furniture that must be assembled by yourself to buy it already built? Why do dinner guests know a dish better if you can season it yourself? These are examples of the socalled Ikea effect by advertisers .

Underlying the effect is the logic that things have more value if they are made by oneself. The effect was revealed in a Norwegian experiment .

The Norwegian experiment

In a series of experiments, they asked several participants to prepare a meal from a package in a laboratory kitchen. The researchers evaluated what they said after they had prepared it themselves versus when they were told that the dish had been cooked by someone else .

People who believed they had prepared the food themselves gave higher scores than those who believed that they were evaluating one dish prepared by another . The point is, everyone was trying the same dish. What’s more, people who had to fry the meat and prepare the food according to the instructions on the side of the box said that the dish was more delicious than those who only had to stir and heat.

In other words, in the experiment, the more involved the cook was in the creative act, the better he knew the end result (at least for them).

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To this narcissistic effect is added another pleasure, that of the craft itself . For example, this is particularly known to craftsmen: when a person masters a hammer or chisel, his hand becomes, in part, a hammer or chisel, acquiring its properties.

Despite the fact that we can buy a piece of furniture for little money, we should also find time to make a piece of furniture with our own hands. Not only because this has cognitively measurable effects on our brain, but because it produces a pleasure that is difficult to explain and is well known to DIYers, and even those who decide to assemble their own furniture after picking up the pieces in an IKEA.

The spectacular success of etsy is also behind this dynamic: people want to make things, people want to buy handmade or exclusive things. By narcissism. Also for the pleasure of coordinating mind and hand .