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?


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.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

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