What gifts are you planning to give your loved ones this festive season? Uh! That’s a secret, right? But come on, shopping for new gifts is a daunting task; and we must confess, it seems the better you know someone, the more daunting the task becomes on picking the right gifts for them. According to a study, people tend to value a gift-given to a loved one if they put it together by themselves.
Related media: 9 Simple Homemade Gift Ideas
Do-It-Yourself: I’m A Self-Made Gift
In a 2012 study, behavioral economist Dan Ariely, alongside Daniel Mochon, marketing professor at Tulane, and Michael Norton of Harvard Business School, sought to study what they termed the “IKEA Effect”: that is, the idea that people value something more when they put it together themselves.
In an experiment, the researchers recruited 52 college students and tasked half of the participants to assemble a plain black IKEA storage box. The other half of the participants were given a fully already assembled box and were tasked to inspect it. Next, the researchers asked the participants to make a bid on the box, telling them that if their bid was equal to or above a random price they pulled out of a hat, they could pay the bid and get the box. Unsurprisingly, the participants who built the box were willing to spend 63 percent more on the box than the other participants who got the fully already assembled box.
In another experiment, the researchers gave the participants some high-quality origami paper and tasked them on how to fold a paper crane or a paper frog. Once they were finished with their creations, they were asked to bid on them in such a similar way as the previous participants bid on their IKEA pieces. Next, the researchers showed them the pieces, alongside with some masterpieces created by seasoned origami artists, to strangers. Unsurprisingly, the participants were willing to pay — nearly five times as much — for their own origami arts as the strangers were, and almost as much as strangers were willing to pay for the expert creations.
The researchers concluded: “Thus while the non-builders saw the amateurish creations as nearly worthless crumpled paper, our builders imbued their origami with value.”
Self Reward Pays Off
In a similar case, business owners are very much aware of this tendency for quite a while. In the 1950s, a response to a plateau in sales of cake mix, manufacturers changed their recipe and allowed consumers to add an egg, thereby adding something to the gift they’d later present. Though the impact is really questionable, yet the motivation behind the theory apparently still holds up. You’re probably aware that plenty of farms that let you pick your own pumpkin at Halloween, and cut down your own tree at Christmas. From the hands-on customization of Build-a-Bear to the viral popularity of DIY frozen-yogurt shops, businesses know that people love the stuff they do themselves.
Always Remember, It Pays To DIY
So, if you’re planning on giving a gift to that significant other, take note! There’s one more phenomenon the researchers noticed from the study. Whenever people didn’t finish assembling their box, that extra value they placed in the item seems to have been lost. What this means is that, if your gift is too daunting to put together, the idea might turn out disappointing. But don’t give up so soon. Go ahead, buy your significant other a makeup kit, or give your kid a carpentry assembly kit. Its much than to do-it-yourself, at they’d rather have a gift that would let them.
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Sat, Apr 06, 2019.