But is this really the case? Before you make up your mind, let’s see what the empirical evidence shows.Dan Airley in his new book, The Upside of Irrationality. How sad it is that he (rightly, I think) has to remind readers not to make up their mind before seeing the evidence?
Update: Another quote from a discussion of why we care more about things "we make" as opposed to just buy:
A would-be baker would hardly be willing to consider herself (or publicly admit to being) someone who makes birthday cakes from “just a mix.” Not only would she feel humiliated or guilty; she might also disappoint her guests, who would feel that they were not being treated to something special.This is probably an example of how I'm a hyper-ratonal person. I'd never want someone to bake me a birthday cake instead of buying a better tasting cake. I'm also not sure why people assume baking a cake from scratch takes more effort than baking a cake from mix: the time it takes to mix the ingredients and put them in the oven is trivial compared to other circumstances. For instance, if you don't have the mix and you have to walk through the rain for 30 minutes to get it (true story, that happened once) then all the sudden making a cake with a mix is vastly more time-consuming. Or suppose that someone's birthday is on Sunday and you spend a few hours baking a cake before church. Compare that with a birthday on Friday where you spend Thursday night (when you have something due the next day) baking from a mix. Most people would say giving up the time on Thursday night was a bigger sacrifice.