Three Things You Need to Know Behind the Psychology of Gift-Giving

If you’ve ever wondered how people choose the gifts they send, you’ve come to the right place. Previously, we’ve written about moments that trigger gift-giving, and how giving makes you happier

We’ve taken it one step further in this blog post to share some research behind the psychology of gift-giving. 

“They study this stuff?” you may ask. 

Indeed they do. In fact, there are studies about everything to the point where it’s impossible to make one up. I’ll demonstrate: I bet there’s never been a study concluding that mosquitoes don’t like the musical stylings of the DJ, Skrillex. Except there has been, and we now know that the blood-sucking insects aren’t fond of the track “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.”

You’re welcome. 

Back to gifts. Let’s take a closer look at the psychology that influences the generous folks who think of others. 

1) Picking Gifts for The Picky is no Picnic

Humans are nothing if not stress magnets, and we drive ourselves crazy seeking “the perfect gift” for people. Our stress ramps up when we shop for the picky among us. Science Daily summarized study findings on this and determined that often people would rather throw in the towel and “forget” to buy something altogether than struggle to find the right gift. 

That’s not cool. 

2) Gift Cards are a Safe and Effective Choice

Gift cards may be construed as impersonal gifts, and that’s the beauty of them. As the same article points out, “Gift cards, it seems, hit a sweet spot–they have the flexibility of cash, but are given and meant to be spent as gifts.” 

And spent as gifts they are. The majority of gift card-recipients treat themselves to something they normally wouldn’t use for with cash. These items are referred to as hedonic purchases because they often fall under the consumed-for-luxury-purposes category.  

3) It Feels Better to Personalize a Gift

Personalized gifts are kind, demonstrate empathy, and show that you’re an all around thoughtful person. To make them really count, though, put forth the effort to understand what makes the recipient tick.

Citing the lead researcher, the article mentions, “Givers tend to focus on what recipients are like rather than what they would like. This can lead them to gravitate toward gifts that are personalized but not very versatile.”

For example, if you’re a business owner searching for a personalized gift for a client who you know enjoys red wine, we might be able to help you with an elegant wine and cheese gift basket (wink, wink). 

It’s important to note that these findings are from one study, and if you’ve established a tried and true method of gift-giving, then stick to it. But it does pull the curtain back on how we make purchasing decisions, and hopefully this blog post will help make your process less stressful and more enjoyable. 

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