While the endowment effect suggests that mere ownership of a product increases its value to individuals, the IKEA effect is evident when invested labor leads to inflated product valuation (Norton, Mochon, & Ariely, 2012). For example, experiments show that the monetary value assigned to the amateur creations of self-made goods is on a par with the value assigned to expert creations. Both experienced and novice do-it-yourselfers are susceptible to the IKEA effect. Research also demonstrates that the effect is not simply due to the amount of time spent on the creations, as dismantling a previously built product will make the effect disappear. The IKEA effect is particularly relevant today, given the shift from mass production to increasing customization and co-production of value. The effect has a range of possible explanations, such as positive feelings (including feelings of competence) that come with the successful completion of a task, a focus on the product’s positive attributes, and the relationship between effort and liking. The effort heuristic is another concept that proposes a link between perceived effort and valuation (Kruger, Wirtz, Van Boven, & Altermatt, 2004).
Kruger, J., Wirtz, D., Van Boven, L., & Altermatt, T. W. (2004). The effort heuristic. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40(1), 91-98.
Norton, M. I., Mochon, D., & Ariely, D. (2012). The IKEA effect: When labor leads to love. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 22, 453-460.