December 15, 2010 BY danariely

I recently had an interesting meeting with a locksmith:

As I mention in the video, what’s really interesting is that this locksmith was penalized for getting better at his profession. He was tipped better when he was an apprentice and it took him longer to pick a lock, even though he would often break the lock! Now that it takes him only a moment, his customers complain that he is overcharging and they don’t tip him. What this reveals is that consumers don’t value goods and services solely by their utility, benefit from the service, but also a sense of fairness relating to how much effort was exerted.

Now imagine how much more people would pay if they knew the effort that goes into all kinds of products and services?