This post is inspired by the most recent Dan Ariely column in the Wall Street Journal.
Here is one of the emails he received:
My partner and I decided to do a DIY renovation of our kitchen cabinets. We spent many hours at the store discussing options and reviewing our sketches, then struggled to fit all the boxes into our van. The assembly was arduous, and we were on the brink of giving up on the project. Despite the rocky road, now that our new cabinets are finished, we love them. Why is that? —Dylan
And here was Dan’s response:
The experience you are describing is something that colleagues and I studied in 2011 and dubbed the “IKEA effect.” The basic idea is that after we devote effort to something, we have more positive feelings toward it; we become attached. This phenomenon is not restricted to the assembly of furniture. Having to add an egg or some milk to instant cake mix, for instance, makes you feel much more accomplished than getting a store-bought cake, despite the minimal involvement. Personal effort matters, even when it is small.
I’ve often experienced such feelings. I may not have called it the IKEA effect, but the idea is the same.
I think we appreciate things more if we’ve had to work to achieve it.
And it made me think of my blog.
Many times my blog is based on something interesting I’ve read, and I’ll share my thoughts on the topic.
Sometimes such posts are 90% just copying and pasting the contents of what I’ve read (and I always try to provide the link to the source of such material), and 10% is adding my own thoughts.
It’s like tonight’s post.
In this case, about 50% might be just a copy and paste from the WSJ, and the other 50% is me offering my thoughts.
But as Dan notes:
Having to add an egg or some milk to instant cake mix, for instance, makes you feel much more accomplished than getting a store-bought cake, despite the minimal involvement. Personal effort matters, even when it is small.
So while sometimes I’ve been tempted to just copy and paste an article and then use that as my entire daily blog post, I don’t think I would feel the same sense of accomplishment compared to what I feel when I add an egg or some milk to the story.
Personal effort matters, even if is small.