Want to give a gift your loved one will really appreciate this Christmas? Here’s a trick: Hand over a big-ticket item all on its own.
Researchers at Virginia Tech found that when people receive more than one gift at once, they average out the value of all presents, thereby lowering the value of the more expensive gift.
Lead study author Dr Kimberlee Weaver calls it the "presenter's paradox": the giver perceives the gifts as a cumulative total (e.g. giving someone an iPad with a $20 iTunes gift card is more valuable than the iPad alone), while the recipient average out the values of all gifts.
"People who evaluate a bundle, such as a gift package, follow an averaging strategy, which leads to less favorable judgments when mildly favorable pieces are added to highly favorable pieces," Dr Weaver said. "Adding on a ‘little’ gift makes the total package seems less big."
Your move: go ahead and buy the little joke present to go along with the show-stopper. Just remember to give them separately.
Confused yet? So are we.
If you bought her a cashmere sweater, gloves, and a $20 spa gift card, don’t give them to her at the same time. Give her a present on Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.When in doubt, give cash
A 2011 Harvard and Stanford University study found that when people don’t get exactly what they want, they prefer cash. Include the cash with a note or a printed picture of the two of you. (note: it goes without saying this rule does not apply to your significant other)It really is the thought that counts
In a 2008 study, researchers in England found that gift-givers often focus on the money they spend, but forget about being thoughtful toward the person they are giving the gift to. Here’s an easy trick: What does she complain about? Chapped lips? Chilly feet? Leaky rain boots? Solve her problem and you’ll be her hero.