Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gift giving 101: When do 'perfect' gifts backfire?

Date:
March 11, 2014
Source:
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.
Summary:
When it comes to shopping for gifts, we try to select things we think people both want and need. According to a new study, focusing too much on the gift recipient can lead to giving the gift we were trying to avoid in the first place. Brands selling products that are often given as gifts can help consumers focus on how they would use a product, even if they are buying the product as a gift for someone else. In doing so, the practicality of the gift becomes apparent to the consumer.

When it comes to shopping for gifts, we try to select things we think people both want and need. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, focusing too much on the gift recipient can lead to giving the gift we were trying to avoid in the first place.

"We predict that in a gift-giving situation, both the gift givers and gift receivers will focus on the gift receivers when thinking about the gift. Givers will choose gifts that are more desirable over gifts that are more practical, whereas receivers will give greater weight to the gift's practicality," write authors Ernest Baskin (Yale University), Cheryl J. Wakslak (University of Southern California), Yaacov Trope (New York University), and Nathan Novemsky (Yale University).

In a series of eight classroom studies and an additional field study involving friends giving gifts to each other, the authors measured the tradeoffs between desirability and practicality in gift giver and gift receiver preferences.

Consider the gift giver who knows the gift receiver loves Italian food, but has to choose between a similarly priced restaurant gift certificate for a well-rated restaurant that is an hour away versus a medium-rated restaurant that is five minutes away.

The authors' research shows that the gift giver leans towards the fancier restaurant while the gift receiver would prefer to receive a gift certificate to the restaurant that is closer to their house. "We show that givers think fancier gifts will cause them to be more liked, will show they care more, and will make their friends happier, but receivers actually think practical gifts will cause this," the authors conclude.

Brands selling products that are often given as gifts can help consumers focus on how they would use a product, even if they are buying the product as a gift for someone else. In doing so, the practicality of the gift becomes apparent to the consumer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ernest Baskin, Cheryl J. Wakslak, Yaacov Trope, and Nathan Novemsky. Why Feasibility Matters More to Gift Receivers than Givers: A Construal-Level Approach to Gift Giving. Journal of Consumer Research, June 2014

Cite This Page:

Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "Gift giving 101: When do 'perfect' gifts backfire?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140311123923.htm>.
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. (2014, March 11). Gift giving 101: When do 'perfect' gifts backfire?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140311123923.htm
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "Gift giving 101: When do 'perfect' gifts backfire?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140311123923.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Escaping Email: Inspired Vision or Pipe Dream?

Escaping Email: Inspired Vision or Pipe Dream?

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) Dustin Moskovitz is plotting an escape from email, using his communications expertise in an attempt to change the way people connect at work, where the incessant drumbeat of email has become an excruciating annoyance. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Emory Prepares to Treat American Ebola Cases

Emory Prepares to Treat American Ebola Cases

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) Plans are underway to bring back the two American aid workers sick with Ebola from Africa. The U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are helping to arrange the evacuation. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

Greenpeace Ship Arctic Sunrise Free to Leave Russia

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) Greenpeace's ship Arctic Sunrise, held in custody by the Russian authorities since September last year, has departed the Russian city of Murmansk en route for its home port of Amsterdam. Duration: 01:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct

US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct

AP (Aug. 1, 2014) U.S. employers extended their hiring surge into July by adding a solid 209,000 jobs. It was the sixth straight month of job growth above 200,000, evidence that businesses are gradually shedding the caution that had marked the 5-year-old recovery. (Aug. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins