The Science Behind Gifting
To be a really successful giver of gifts, a person usually needs to get inside the head of the intended recipient. Unfortunately, psychological studies reveal that givers and receivers have a hard time understanding each other's mind-sets, which can make for a tricky holiday experience.
Take regifting. That Crock-Pot your well-meaning aunt gave you last year that you are shamefully contemplating wrapping up for your dear neighbor this year? Research shows you can go right ahead and regift it, shame intact. Your aunt probably won't mind.
Many people shy away from regifting, or hide the fact they are doing it, out of fear the original giver of the item could be offended. Don't worry, says a recent study published in the journal Psychological Science. The person who first gave the item is less likely to be offended than the regifter expects.
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...