Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why You Fall In Love With Your Work: It's The Ikea Effect

Imagine this:
You've bought a piece of furniture from Ikea. You got home immediately and started assembling the thing. 
It came out a little crooked, but you didn't care. You showed it off to your girlfriend and despite her best effort to sound polite, you felt offended because she said the work turned out a little awkward.
When I first built this sh-t and I thought it was awesome. And two months later I thought it was horrendously bad. 

It's a common psychology effect called the Ikea Effect: building your own stuffs boosts your pride and makes you feel competent, and that could override your rationale to consider other people's opinion.
In a series of experiment, Daniel Mochon and colleagues demonstrated that people attach greater value to things they built than if the very same product was built by someone else. We are prone to reject other people's idea because we think it's inferior to ours.

Similarly, companies and managers the world over fall in love with their own ideas.
It actually reminds me of one of our ministers who launched and defended a shoddy horrible piece of logo design for the Malaysia's 55th Independence celebration several years ago.

And hey, it also serves as a poignant reminder for all of us to have someone from the outside--a person who isn't involved in your work--to give you some useful feedback before showing your work to the rest of the world.

You can read the paper here.


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