The IKEA Effect

An AI image of furniture being assembled

The IKEA Effect is a cognitive bias where consumers place a disproportionately high value on products they have partially created or assembled [2]. This effect is named after the Swedish furniture company IKEA, which sells many items of furniture that require assembly [2]. 

The IKEA Effect suggests that when people invest their own time and effort into creating or assembling something, they tend to value it more highly, even if the result is not perfect [2]. This is because the act of creation or assembly gives people a sense of accomplishment and ownership, which in turn increases their appreciation of the product [2]. 

For example, a person might value a piece of IKEA furniture that they assembled themselves more highly than a similar piece of furniture that was pre-assembled, even if the self-assembled furniture has minor flaws or imperfections [2]. 

This effect has been leveraged by various businesses and marketers to involve consumers in the creation or customization process, thereby enhancing their attachment and perceived value of the products [4]. However, it is important to note that this effect can also lead to irrational decision-making, as people might overvalue their own creations and undervalue others’ [2]. 

The IKEA Effect illustrates how our perceptions of value can be influenced by our own involvement in the creation process [2]. It is a fascinating aspect of consumer psychology that has significant implications for product design, marketing, and consumer behavior [2]. 

For more on biases, please visit our other articles on Biases and Psychology.


  1. IKEA effect – Wikipedia 
  2. What is the IKEA Effect? — updated 2024 | IxDF 
  4. The “IKEA Effect”: When Labor Leads to Love – Harvard Business School