The IKEA lesson effect


Do you know why we love writing our own activities even when there’s no time for lesson planning? I’ve found the answer on The Teacher Habits by Paul Murphy: when we write our own materials, we tend to overestimate their value, just like people who buy furniture from IKEA like it more because they had to build it themselves. Paul calls this ‘the IKEA effect’, which apparently is a psychological term denoting a type of cognitive bias. We love the fruit of our labour, so to say – even if the quality of published materials (or the activities in the teacher’s book) is better.

This explains a lot… Do you agree?

P.S. I’ve written about this blog before: for example, have a look at Mystery trash for the end-of-lesson routine or How can teachers be like cats? Great advice for teachers of any subject.



4 thoughts on “The IKEA lesson effect

  1. Yes, I can definitely see how we would be partial towards our “babies”. I am in a program for certification and we’ve been inundated with site suggestions. Sometimes, I have written my own material for our classes and have missed some key points. I am very glad to have read this early on before I am in front of students full-time – I will be more diligent and use professional materials as the backbone for the lessons. I could use my own for the creative and/or spiraling aspect.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Cooking vocabulary activities | Kate's Crate

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