How to Take a Scientific Approach to Gift Giving


Have you ever received a present that you hated? Well, you are certainly not alone. Since you are well aware of how disappointing this can be, you probably try rather hard to make sure that you don’t make the same mistake. After all, no one wants their present thrown away.

Despite your best efforts, however, you may find that your presents aren’t being appreciated the way you want them to be. So, does this mean that you are doomed to a lifetime of missing the mark on gifts for your friends and family? No, it doesn’t have to be this way!

Why? Well, it turns out there are actual scientific facts that can help you to become a better gift giver. Thus, if you want to always know which present to pick out for which recipient, this is the article for you. Let’s get started.

Pay Attention to What They Ask For

The truth is that most people are hesitant to ask others what they would like as presents. This is because, for the most part, it is a rather unromantic gesture. Many people see presents as a way to show a loved one just how much you know about them. Unfortunately, there is a good chance that you will get it wrong.

Now, this isn’t some idle musing there is science to back it up. A study conducted showed that recipients actually preferred presents that they explicitly asked for. Despite what you might assume, your friends and family won’t view this as you being lazy or inauthentic.

It is important to keep in mind that people ask for certain things for a reason. Perhaps they really need a particular item but have to spend money on something else. Or, it could be a more frivolous expenditure that they are simply not willing to make for themselves.

Regardless of the reason, however, you can be certain that when someone explicitly asks for something, they mean it. Thus, you should listen to them if you want to give them a present that they will truly enjoy and appreciate.

Consider it from Their Point of View

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to ask everyone what they would like. There are also those individuals who simply refuse to cooperate with your requests. Under these circumstances, it is up to you to come up with your own ideas. So, how do you make sure that you don’t get it wrong?

Well, to start with, consider the recipient’s point of view. This is something many people fail to do. See, when you buy a present, you are considering how the gift will make someone feel about you. This is why you will often head for the biggest, brightest, or more expensive thing around. In the process, though, you are failing to see things as your recipient would.

Thus, it is time to put yourself in their shoes and think how would a particular person view a certain gift? This will make it a great deal easier to get them an item that they actually want. On average, people prefer things that are useful to them. So, imagine that you are looking for a present for a pilot. Then you should focus on products that he or she will use on a regular basis. This is what will give the present its value.

Now, when you take this approach, it is natural for you to get a little stuck for ideas. Fortunately for you, there are sites that give you suggestions on gifts for pilots and other careers, interests, and hobbies.

Price Doesn’t Define Meaning

For one reason or another, people have been conditioned to imagine that cost is equivalent to care. This is why you often save the most expensive presents for the people closest to you. At the end of the day, however, most people will not take the price of a present into consideration.

Think about it like this does it really matter how much a present costs if you really don’t like it? No, you aren’t going to see the gift giver in a more positive light simply because he or she spent more money on you. Rather, you are going to appreciate a present that you actually asked for or that reflects your wants or needs.

As you can imagine, this is excellent advice for those who tend to drain their bank accounts during the holiday season. There is no need for you to do this. Instead, focus on giving a present that has a greater meaning to the recipient. It is as easy as that.

Experience vs. Presents – Know When Which One is Appropriate

For a while now, most “experts” have been urging us to give people experiences rather than physical gifts. This is because many have found that experiences are more likely to appeal to people and that they are often happier with such “presents”. While this is true, to a certain extent, there is a little more to this theory.

Yes, experiences do produce a great burst of happiness in recipients. However, this exuberance is short-lived and once it has passed, people don’t maintain that same level of positivity regarding their gift. Material goods, on the other hand, may not cause people to experience high levels of happiness. Nevertheless, that moderate sense of happiness is maintained for a longer amount of time.

So, before splurging on either one ask yourself what kind of feeling are you looking to elicit? Do you want the recipient to be extremely happy for a short period of time? Or, would you prefer it if they were simply pleased with what you got, but that feeling was maintained for longer? By answering these questions, you will find it easier to come to the right decision for you and the recipient.

As you can see, gift-giving might be a little more complicated than you anticipated. Nevertheless, there is a way for you to get it right every time. Simply apply scientific methods to any present buying situation and you should have your answer. This way, you can be certain that your presents will never be thrown away again.

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