Why No One Likes Your Holiday Gifts
We're down to the wire, holiday shoppers. As much as you're tempted to buy everyone pajamas and call it a day, if you want to make sure your loved ones unwrap something they'll actually like, shop for one person at a time, suggests a new study in theJournal of Consumer Research.
[sidebar]We know that's not ideal considering the time constraint. But when you shop for multiple people, you're likely to overindividualize—that is, to choose gifts that seem appropriate in comparison to what's in your hand, not a person's individual tastes.
To test this theory, researchers conducted six experiments where participants were asked to buy a birthday card, a gift card, or a DVD for one or two people they learned about either through Facebook or an Amazon survey. In the last experiment, researchers even prompted participants to be thoughtful, saying it was OK if they chose the same gift for both people.
Yet, in every experiment, shoppers passed over gifts a person would like for something they thought was different or unique. In other words, shoppers focused more on variety in an attempt to show they really understood their recipient rather than sticking to what they knew would win.
So how do you keep your friends and family from regifting? Consider what recipients would choose for themselves, says researchers. Taking on that perspective makes all the difference.
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