Science Explains What Gifts People Want

Spending more doesn’t necessarily mean more appreciation for the gift, research says. Guess what else doesn’t matter?

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From The Wall Street Journal

Some gift givers spend time and energy trying to find just the right gift. But thoughtful gifts don’t necessarily lead to greater appreciation, according to a study published in November in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. The benefit of a thoughtful gift actually accrues mainly to the giver, who derives a feeling of closeness to the other person, the study found.

People are more appreciative when they receive a gift they have explicitly requested, according to a similar study published last year in a separate publication called the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

So it’s the gift, not the thought, that counts. And regifting is OK, researchers say. Whew.

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