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There is an interesting post on the PropertyProf Blog called "The IKEA Effect And Locke's Theory Of Property."
While the subject matter is pretty heady and academic, one of the
questions it asks is interesting: Do we have a greater attachment to
things that we build for ourselves, such as the HEMNES or EKTORP you
purchased from IKEA, than things that are built for us by others? For
me, lots of feelings arise when I am putting together IKEA furniture,
but attahment is not one of them. Irritation, frustration, blind rage -
yes. Attachment - not so much.The video embedded in the post contains an explanation of the "IKEA
Effect" by the economist who developed the theory. Another example he
uses is origami. (This is particularly close to my heart because my
parents never let me forget the time that I tried origami as a child
during a visit to the Museum of Natural History and flew into a rage of
frustration not seen again until I started putting IKEA furniture
together as an adult.) He conducted a test where he asked the subjects
to make origami and then place a value on what they made. What they
found was that people tended to overvalue the origami that they made,
concluding that not only did they think it was worth more than origami
made others, but also that everyone would think that it was more valuable. The final example he uses has to do with children. I won't go into
detail about it here (spoiler alert: consider whether you would sell
your children or buy someone else's children) but it deals with
essentially the same issues. The post ties the "IKEA Effect" to John
Locke's theory of private property, but I just thought it posed some
interesting things to think about on a summer Friday.
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