Effort justification

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Also See Epimemetics

Relevant Quote by Theme Zoom Co-Founder, Russell Wright:

"When a Product or Service is freely given there is no Context for the mind to ascertain it's value. Paradoxically, you are almost NEVER doing anyone a favor by giving them something of High-Value for free, because they will simply be unable to value it! You are HARMING them because they will not be able to reap the benefits of a truly remarkable gift."  - Russell Wright

Also See Network Empire (This topic has a LOT to do with membership websites and paid content models.) 

Effort Justification Definition (Russell has also suggested that this be called "The Hazing Effect"):

Effort Justification is an idea and paradigm in social psychology stemming from Festinger's theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Effort justification is people's tendency to attribute a greater value (greater than the objective value) to an outcome they had to put effort into acquiring or achieving.

Critics of this theory claim it only works within a complex social context (which is responsible for the creation of dissonance), but research has shown the same effects in children (who understand less about social context and therefore are less likely to be influenced by it) and even works on pigeons when tested. The researchers argue that the cause for these findings, both in humans and animals, is the contrast effect. According to this theory, the preference is a result of the difference between the reward and the situation that leads to it. When the preliminary situation is unpleasant or strenuous, the difference between it and the reward that follows is great. When the preliminary situation is not especially unpleasant or strenuous, the difference between it and the reward is smaller. The reward that has the larger difference from its preliminary situation will be preferred since it is experienced as more positive.

Important:Also See Aronson and Mills


1. ^ Festinger, L. (1957) Cognitive dissonance. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
2. ^ Aronson, E., & Mills, J. (1959) The effect of severity of initiation on liking for a group. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology ,59, 177-181
3. ^ Alessandri J., DarchevilleJ.C. , Zentall T.R. (2008)Cognitive dissonance in children: Justification of effort or contrast? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 15, 3,673-677

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