That seems incredibly counterintuitive though, and can't see the mechanism that explains it. In the locksmith's case, the mechanism is that clients believe the duration of the task is directly related to the effort, and they are willing to reward greater effort.
The mechanism is that human brains are really, really bad at judging volume. A small glass full to the brim looks like it has more than a large glass that's half full. Bars often use a related trick, which is tall thin shot glasses - they look like they have more, even if they have less, compared to wider glasses.
This is why we should be eating off small plates at home and buying the small donuts instead of the regular sized one. You get more satisfaction for the same sized meal or equivalent satisfaction for a smaller one.
Expectations? If you put a big cup in front of me, I can expect you to fill half of it, fill it completely or anything in-between. If the glass is small, I expect you to fill it to the top, no uncertainty.