The Appeal of Handmade in an Era of Automation

Why is it that, even if it has a few dropped stitches and uneven rows, we have a greater affinity for the scarf our friend knitted for us than the one we bought at a department store? Or that we cherish that ceramic mug with the slightly irregular handle more than a pristine mass-produced mug? The answer, Adam Waytz argues, is in our recognition of the sweat that went into their making. In this excerpt from The Power of Human: How Our Shared Humanity Can Help Us Create a Better World, Waytz, a social psychologist and professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School, explains the psychology behind our attraction to the handmade, the bespoke, and the artisanal in an age of increasing automation.

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