A Technique of Providing Memorable Presents
According to research by Cavanaugh, Gino, and Fitzsimons, delivering a poor present might harm your relationships. So, how can you be certain that you choose something that the gift receivers will adore? It's time to go over your holiday present list. You'll need to decide who receives a gift, as well as how much you're going to spend and, most crucially, what to purchase. And, while giving presents might make you happy, express your thoughts to the recipient, and even improve relationships, a subpar gift can have the opposite impact. “Selecting the inadequate present may be dangerous for connections because it suggests you have nothing in common,” says Elizabeth Dunn, co-author of Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending and a psychology professor at UBC in Canada. Her research also showed that unfavorable presents might occasionally have a detrimental influence on the receiver's impression of the future possibilities of a relationship. How can you be certain the recipient will appreciate your Christmas present if you don't want it to inflict more damage than good? Psychology may hold the key to the solution.
Don't be concerned about the cost.
Should you simply splurge to prove your love? According to research , spending more money does not automatically guarantee a well-received present. The more costly a present, the more gift-givers expected the person to enjoy it. However, while givers believed that paying more communicated greater thoughtfulness, recipients did not link the price with their degree of gratitude. Jeff Galak, an assistant professor in the department of marketing at the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh, who studies customer choice behavior, admits that you may have to meet a particular pricing barrier owing to tradition or expectations. However, once you've crossed that threshold, "it doesn't matter whether you buy something more expensive," he argues. What matters most is the gift itself.
Consider the Long-Term Effect.
Galak claims that the key to giving a wonderful present is to think beyond the brief moment of handing it away, an idea he and colleagues Julian Givi and Elanor Williams discovered to be a recurrent theme in gift-giving research, including a study they published. “When people give gifts, they want to spend more time giving the item and witnessing the delight on the recipient's face,” Galak adds. “However, consumers are apprehensive about how much benefit they will receive in the long run.” To put it another way, it may not be enjoyable to see a friend or family member unwrap a present of a film subscription, therefore you may be less likely to offer one. However, because it is a present that can be appreciated frequently throughout time, the receiver may genuinely enjoy it.
Galak also advises against getting too caught up in providing the most unusual present possible. According to one research, when we shop for someone, we prefer to focus on their distinctive characteristics and personality. However, this hyper-specificity causes us to overlook other elements of their desires and requirements, which may cause us to purchase an unsatisfactory present for them. We also have a tendency to want to purchase various gifts for different individuals, even if they are all happy with the same thing–and may never compare gifts at all. According to Galak, individuals mistakenly believe that in order to feel like a good gift-giver, they must vary their presents, even at the expense of delivering the finest present. You could also avoid purchasing something you already own because you don't want to jeopardize your sense of self-identity. So, those sneakers you have that your friend adores? Don't shy away from giving a matching set simply to be different.
Purchase based on common interests
Dunn, a psychology professor, recommends beginning your shopping experience with something you share in common with the receiver. Instead of focusing on your tastes and changing them for how you and the recipient differ, she suggests focusing on what you share and selecting a present from there.“People are much better at choosing things for themselves,” she says, “so if you have something in common with somebody, buy something that shares the same passion, since what you love is more likely to be something they adore.” Consider a shared passion you share and purchase something that your receiver can experience, such as theatre tickets or a culinary class, for an even more powerful present.Experiential gifts may also bring you and the recipient closer together, even if you do not experience the gifts alongside the person.
Inquire about their desires.
If you have nothing at all in common, Dunn suggests just asking the person what they want or working on a registry. Studies show that individuals value presents they request more than those that they do not. “Numerous individuals want to be innovative and surprise the recipient,” Dunn adds, “but the greatest gift will be something they said they requested.” Galak feels that asking a person what they want is the easiest approach to make them happy with a present. It's not an answer most people appreciate, he adds, because nice presents are intended to be a "surprise" - despite scientific evidence to the contrary. "It's a pity that asking others what they want is deemed rude," he argues. "If we did give them something they want, all of us would benefit."
Intuition or Interruption?
Finally, don't be too concerned about delivering a lousy gift: genuinely awful gifts are uncommon. Unless something is unsuitable, the receiver will feel some sense of gratitude. Galak claims that throughout his research, he has interviewed hundreds of participants about presents they have received, and he has heard nobody complain about a terrible gift. Even if you send a subpar present to someone dear to you, your care may rescue you. This is because when someone offers a terrible gift, they prompt the receiver to consider why the giver picked it.
- “When doing something confusing that has to be clarified such as delivering a horrible present–when that's you wonder about the other person's mind,” Nicholas Epley explains, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business who studies how we interpret other people's viewpoints and make decisions.
- According to his research , if the recipient believes you spent a significant amount of time selecting the gift, they will admire the efforts that went into selecting a less desired item. The old saying "it's the thought that counts" may be accurate after all. Even though you might not get the present correctly, someone will be happy in the situation: you. “When gift-givers put a lot of care into a present, they feel closer to the receiver," Epley says. "Even if the recipient isn't as impacted as the giver, the giver is.”