What we've been getting wrong about choosing gifts

Posted on August 12, 2015

Photo: flickr

Hundreds of people surveyed online said that when buying gifts, they prefer to choose an item or experience that reflects the personality and interests of the person they are giving to. Similarly, people mostly said that they preferred receiving gifts that were tailored to their tastes and personality.

However, contrary to this received wisdom, the researchers reasoned that giving a gift that reveals something of your own true self could be more effective at increasing relationship closeness because it's an act of personal disclosure.

They put this to the test and when the researchers contacted the recipients, those who received a gift (music track) that revealed something of the giver's interests and passions, said they felt closer to the giver, as compared to the control participants who'd received a track that was supposed to reveal something about themselves.

This research may help explain the mismatch between folk wisdom and the findings of this study. There's a cultural expectation and preference for giving recipient-centric gifts, but it's often not easy to choose a gift that accurately reflects the recipient's true self, and a mistaken choice can go awry if it signals how little you actually know the recipient, especially if you're giving to a man.

Alternatively, just ask your recipient what they want next time.

Click on the link below to read the full article.


Source material from http://digest.bps.org.uk/