The psychology of gift-giving and receiving. ScienceDaily. “A person can have immediate feelings of resentment if they feel a person has not spent enough,” Byrd says. Researchers Andong Cheng, Meg Meloy, and Evan Polman surveyed 7,466 Black Friday shoppers in 2013. Givers fail to anticipate this and favor specific over general gift cards," Steffel said. “In lifespan and developmental psychology, we teach about altruism and how it benefits individuals and society,” says Dr. Darlene Silvernail, owner of Silvernail Consultant Services and Psychology instructor at South University — West Palm Beach. When we give without expecting anything in return, we are improving our psychological health. The Gift of Giving In his book Give and Take , Adam Grant refers to a variety of research and ideas to help people succeed and build relationships. Chelsea Helion and Thomas Gilovich are studying how individuals perceive and spend gift cards. The feelings expressed mainly depend on the relationship between giver and recipient. The holiday season is also a big time for advertisers to tap into the feelings of consumers in an effort to get them to buy products. He says gift-giving is also a way for the giver to reduce guilt. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2014. “If it is friend to friend, people will remain thoughtful,” Byrd says. It’s that time of the year when people’s attention is focused on the holiday ritual of gift-giving. Letting Go of Control. Giving a gift is a universal way to show interest, appreciation, and gratitude, as well as strengthen bonds with others, sources say. While most of us may shop for a picky person in our lives, we know very little about how people cope with the challenge of shopping for a picky person. No matter the gift, people want to receive.”. “People need to remember there are ways to acknowledge others without having to purchase something,” Byrd says. Have any problems using the site? You can tag that with those who give anonymously,” he says. Challenges of “picky” recipients. According to Helion, recipients use gift cards to "treat' themselves to items they might not normally buy. Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Some would say yes, without thinking twice. Think Past the 'Big Reveal', Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment: Clinical Trial Reverses Two Biological Processes Associated With Aging in Human Cells, Go (Over) Easy on the Eggs: 'Egg-Cess' Consumption Linked to Diabetes. “There is the whole act — determining what needs to be given and making sure it fits with the person,” says Devin A. Byrd, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences at South University — Savannah. Experiments examining actual and hypothetical gift exchanges in real-life relationships reveal that experiential gifts produce greater improvements in relationship strength than material gifts, regardless of whether the gift is consumed together. Gift exchange is a major part of celebrating the holidays, but did you know the whole act of gift-giving can offer psychological benefits? It might be easy to offer a kind … "We find that this is because individuals experience less guilt when paying with a gift card, compared to credit cards or cash," Helion says.". “That really comes into play when you have people giving from afar,” he says. “Gift-giving feels good internally, and there are extrinsic benefits also.”. Gift givers are more likely to give gift cards, or forgo a gift altogether for a picky recipient. “Now, it is a lot easier to order a gift online and send it. Or perhaps the gift expresses more feelings than expected.”. According to their research, there is an upside to being picky: shoppers are more likely to purchase an item the picky recipient specifically requests. When individuals are given a gift card instead of cash, they feel a justification to buy something that's out-of-the-ordinary. The tendency for givers to choose overly specific gifts may contribute to gift nonuse. Better to give than to receive, gift-giving is also an act of altruism — unselfish concern for the well-being of others. "To make your friend, spouse, or family member feel closer to you, give an experience," Chan says. "The psychology of gift-giving and receiving." It seems as if Christmas advertising arrives earlier every year. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. It can be a replacement for not being there with the person. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader: Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks: Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Read how veteran James Harris discovered advocacy and holistic wellness through South University’s Psychology and Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs and developed initiatives to help those in need in his community. "The psychology of gift-giving and receiving." The symposia "The Psychology of Gift Giving and Receiving" will take place during the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Convention in Long Beach, California. Gift exchanges can reveal how people think about others, what they value and enjoy, and how they build and maintain relationships. It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. Questions? “People don’t always give just to get something back, but many times we think ‘if I do a good deed, something good will happen for me.’”. They gain satisfaction when they find the right gift and that brings emotional happiness.”, “If you do something positive, positive psychology says you attract positive,” Silvernail says. Discover how Richard “RJ” Anderson built a strong foundation for a second career by completing his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at South University. Shoppers are scurrying about looking for the right gift for the special people in their lives. Materials provided by Society for Personality and Social Psychology. * The High Point and Orlando Off-Campus Instructional Sites are designed to provide students with the benefits of a South University experience at a convenient location. To give a gift that is more likely to match a recipient's preferences, the researchers recommend that givers focus more on what the recipient would like, rather than focusing on their unique traits. “Gifts don’t have to be huge monetary things to make everyone feel good.”. When we give, we’re in control in a certain way. “I think the focus should stay on what the holidays are really about and not on the commercial aspects of it,” Silvernail says. The symposia "The Psychology of Gift Giving and Receiving" will take place during the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Convention in Long Beach, California. The most important thing about giving and receiving is your intention behind it. Whether it’s through television commercials and shopping websites filled with holiday music and graphics or store displays offering festive cheer, consumers can’t escape holiday advertising. “There is a great expectation and buildup of what it will mean when a person receives it. Better to give than to receive, gift-giving is also an act of altruism — unselfish concern for the well-being of others. Gift-givers tend to choose gifts that are personalized to the recipient, but are less versatile than what the recipient would like to receive, according to new research by Mary Steffel, Elanor Williams and Robyn LeBoeuf. 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