Give Me Your Self: Gifts are Liked More When They Match the Giver’s Characteristics


Researchers at Erasmus University and Wageningen University conducted a study to see what factors were best at predicting whether or not a gift recipient will be happy with the gift he or she receives.

Typically, gift givers often spend a good deal of time trying to find a gift that best matches other people’s desires. Research has shown that consumers mispredict other people’s preferences, and as a result they choose gifts that systematically differ from the products and services that recipients would be interested in receiving.

The researchers in this study documented a route to make gift recipients happy that does not rely on successfully predicting the inclinations of the recipient. On the contrary, they proposed that gift givers may sometimes opt for gifts that match their own characteristics.

The researchers found that across various situations, consumers consistently liked a gift more when this was meaningfully tied to the defining characteristics of the giver.

I guess the practical implication of this research is that it looks like everyone on my holiday shopping list will be getting either juggling equipment or logic puzzle books.

Feel free to opt out…

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