The Perfect Gift

The holidays are coming – yikes! Can science help How to find that perfect gift?

This Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Gift shopping can be so stressful! Most of us are just clueless Most of us are just clueless about what to get our friends. Soap dish? Socks? Maybe Aa puppy?

But could the most thoughtful gift mean thinking about OURSELVES first?

Enter Evan Polman from University of Wisconsin-Madison and Sam Maglio from University of Toronto Scarborough. He Who may have unwrapped the secret to the perfect gift!

They had hundreds of participants rate different gifts such as staplers, umbrellas, and headphones. On a scale of likeability, thoughtfulness, and consideration. Another group of participants rated the same presents. Except this time, people were told that the givers bought the same gift for themselves too!

Results? People like the item BETTER when givers also got themselves the SAME ONE. The researchers call this effect “companionizing.”

They reason that a present is more special when two people are connected by it. Sharing commonality through preferences strengthens their bond. gets stronger They Leading them to appreciate their gift EVEN MORE!

So go ahead–pick out the present YOU always wanted. Buy a dozen for your friends too!

Just make sure those puppies are house-trained!