Why we overvalue what we make

I never knew why I was so attached to everything I sew or any of my other crafts nor why the same happens with anything handmade by someone else and given me as a gift.
I always felt guilty about getting rid of something homemade. Did you ever feel like that?

Well, last night I was reading a chapter from the Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely. He is a professor of Behavioral Economics who tries to explain his research in very simple and approachable language (I am not an economist myself!)

So, I finally found an explanation of what was experiencing… it seems I am not the only one.

If you are interested to find out what the Ikea effect is… watch the video and let me know what you think.

I highly recommend Dan Ariely’s books and blog.

So, sorry for not posting about a project I made. I thought it was somewhat sewing related, that’s why I decided to share it.

Have a great week!

7 thoughts on “Why we overvalue what we make

  1. I think this is definitely true of kids & I think smart parents know it (that they value their kids but others may not)…not so smart parents think we should love their children (dog, cat) like they do.

    But this also goes along w/ the idea of humans being makers (www.maikerfaire.com), and gaining satisfaction from creating things ourselves (whether it’s clothing, cooking, jewelry, oil change, a new kitchen). I don’t know if I overvalue what I create though. I like it–but I only like it for me. I don’t try to get friends to wear my dresses! How would that work? “Oh, I made this dress & it’s so great, you should wear it!” I can imagine recommending a pattern, though.


  2. Pretty interesting. I definitely value the things I create, or handmade items in general, way more than the mass produced items I buy at a store. The thing is, I value these things for myself therefore I don’t think I can relate to the “origami” people on the video. You see, I certainly see flaws in the things I create and don’t think others will value them in the same way I do. This also means it takes a lot to part with favorite hand made items that may no longer be in good condition. Or maybe I’m just a pack rat? What struck a cord with me was his parting thought about allocation of time and how society would be happier if we allocated more of our time to making our own items (weather it be food, home improvements or sewing). I certainly think so! Thanks for sharing with us.


  3. That was interesting. Is it overvaluing, or just that there are so many people now who do not create anything, they have no perception of the pride and value a person gets from actually making something?

    I think many times about giving a quilt I’ve made as a gift, but I worry that it would be damaged or unappreciated if that person didn’t understand the work and time involved, or maybe just didn’t like the fabrics I chose. Is it overvaluing to be protective of something we’ve created through hard work? Or is it sensibility?


  4. Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this video and I watched several more!! Fascinating — I love the idea that we inject meaning into the things we make, that it’s a whole different way of looking at the value of both our time and the things we own. Thanks!


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