When NPR staff psychologist, Shankar Vedantam reported on the Ikea effect and how rewarding and popular it is (it comes from building a three-story house out a box of planks) I couldn’t help but wonder if I too could participate in that kind of construction-based, burly pride. This is the type of pride that you see in those commercials where beads of sweat roll off of cowboys’ brows as they unload the cargo from their heavy-duty pick-up trucks: two dozen doughnuts and three vanilla lattes.
I can see it now, sweat beading on my orthodontic head-brace (just cranked down at the dentist’s office) as I unload a 1/4 bail-of-hay from the back of my scooter. I would then struggle up the three steps that lead to the door of condo. Panting like a 90 year-old on Everest, I would unlock the door and store the hay on the deck of my condo, where my two hamsters could nest in it.
I would then get crackin’ on that manly project: building a 3-foot high book shelf. Hopefully, the project would not end up looking like a crooked doghouse.
If things didn’t go that well, I might end up in my Lazy Boy with a handful of extra hardware, my wife yelling about the crooked doghouse. While in the chair, I would ponder interesting psychological theories, much like Shankar Vedantam did when he tried to put together an Ikea bookshelf. To here his confession, google “npr Ikea effect.”