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Simple Tips to Be the Best Gift-Giver This Holiday Season, According to Science

Dec 07, 2016 04:06 AM EST
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Gift-Giving
The secret behind a successful gift-giving is learning to understand the needs and wants of the gift's recipient.
(Photo : Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Gift-giving during this holiday season has become a norm for many cultures all over the world. Elders may have taught that children should learn to accept what is given to them as presents. However, secretly despising gifts that you have received during this season has become part of growing up. Now, a new study may hold the answer why some people just can't appreciate the gifts they have received.

The study, published in the journal Current Directions of Psychological Science, showed that the secret behind a successful gift-giving is learning to understand the needs and wants of the gift's recipient.

"What we found was that the giver wants to 'wow' the recipient and give a gift that can be enjoyed immediately, in the moment, while the recipient is more interested in a gift that provides value over time, while the recipient is more interested in a gift that provides value over time," explained lead author Jeff Galak, of Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business, in a press release.

The researchers found that the most common mistake gift-givers do is going all the way just to surprise their loved ones. Other mistake committed by gift-givers is giving responsible gifts, such as donations in the name of their gift's recipient. The researchers noted that responsible gifts may seem to give the recipient a temporary source of accomplishment, but will most likely to no value later on his life.

With their findings, the researchers recommend gift-givers to empathize with their recipients. When thinking about gifts, on should not focus on the momentary joy and surprise when opening the gift, gift-givers should focus instead on gifts that are both useful and appreciated. Gift0givers should always consider how valuable their gift could become over the course of the recipient's ownership.

By emphasizing with the recipient of the gift, the gift-giver could learn more about the person and his/her possible preferences when it comes to gifts.

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