It’s about that time of the festive period when we start panicking about what presents to get for the people we love and generally over-think the whole thing.
Nobody wants to be responsible for buying someone a shit gift but, according to psychologists, the process of Christmas gift giving is actually a lot more straightforward than we’re making it.
As reported by the Mail Online, the new research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, decided to analyse people’s gift buying habits – specifically what you should purchase and whether the person you’re giving the gift to will actually like it.
And it seems like that old mantra of buying something you’d like for yourself does actually hold water.
Rather than trying to wrack your brain about what to buy for a person, it’s apparently better to choose a present which embodies the “true self” of the giver, as it’s more likely to be in tune with the gift receiver’s enjoyment of the present.
Buying a present which you think the other person will like is actually more likely to result in disappointment for the receiver, according to the study.
University College London psychologist, Professor Adrian Furnham said:
Does anyone receive a present they actually want to keep? There appears to be no relationship between the cost of a gift and the extent to which it is liked or preferred. The better people know each other, the more special and subtle they can be. But a gift still must be carefully and thoughtfully chosen.
The study also took a look at what types of gifts couples should buy for one another, why you shouldn’t spend too much too early in your relationship, and also why deodorant as a gift is a big no no.
Summed up, the top five rules of gift giving according to researchers are:
1. Buy gifts that reflect ‘your true self’ rather than what you think they will like for Christmas.
2. Don’t do a ‘bundle’ gift approach as smaller presents devalue larger presents.
3. Couples should be try and choose its that reflect the couple’s similarity.
4. Try and avoid spending too much on gifts in the early days of your relationship. Don’t spend too little later on as well.
5. Never choose a present that could be seen as a hint at something you dislike about them. Buying deodorant suggests body odour.
Oh, and no socks. Obviously.