2-9-13 Hodgepodge

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Psychological Distance vs. the "IKEA Effect"

Evoking the image of a badly-assembled IKEA chair, a blogger at Lifehacker gives a catchy name to a problem many, particularly authors, have faced over the ages: the tendency to overestimate the quality or value of something simply because one has made it oneself.

[Daniel] Mochon and his colleagues also found that people who feel incompetent might be more vulnerable to the IKEA Effect, since building your own stuff is a way to "signal to others that you are competent." Conversely, if you're given an esteem boost, you're not as interested in having to prove your competence and, perhaps, will be more objective about the value of your ideas/creations.
The author rightly recommends achieving some psychologcal distance from one's work as a way of gaining the perspective necessary to judge one's work more objectively.

Weekend Reading

"Abuse of various substances can be a misguided way to relieve pain, anxiety, sleeplessness or other symptoms of (what might possibly be) an emotional disorder." -- Michael Hurd, in "The Meaning of Self-Medication" at The Delaware Wave

"Nagging results from a breakdown in communication." -- Michael Hurd, in "Nag, Nag, Nag!" at The Delaware Coast Press

"Immigration quotas treat both Americans and foreigners as if they were criminals, as if the peaceful exchange of values to mutual benefit were an act of destruction." -- Harry Binswanger, in "Anti-Immigration Rhetoric Frighteningly Reveals Education's Failure" at Forbes

"If you wanted to boil down what makes Rand so successful and what she can teach us today, it would be that she teaches the free market side to take the moral high ground." -- Yaron Brook and Don Watkins, in "3 Crucial Lessons Ayn Rand Can Teach Us Today" at Fox News

My Two Cents

The Hurd piece on nagging offers an interesting value proposition for anyone beset by that annoying problem: a way to attempt to improve one's own side of the communications that are supposed to occur.


Some time ago, I ran across the following gem at Clients from Hell:
We haven't paid your invoice because the owner is in Mississippi…you know how hard it is to get in touch with people when they are in Mississippi.
The quote is attributed to "Someone who doesn't realize I'm based in Mississippi."


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