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Gifts: It's the thought that counts? Think again

university of chicago psychology pleasure perfect presents

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#1 Hum

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 14:59

While the organised among us will already have purchased, wrapped and tagged our Christmas gifts, for those beginning to panic at the task ahead, there is helpful scientific advice: don't agonise over picking the perfect present.

Psychologists have decided the old belief that "it's the thought that counts" is simply not true. It's the gift. So you might as well ask the recipient what he or she wants.

According to Nick Epley, a lecturer in behavioural science at the University of Chicago: "The common wisdom is that the receiver values the amount of time you spent thinking about the gift, trying to get it right. This is a mistaken assumption." In a paper published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology in November, Epley contends that receivers do not care how much thought and effort went into buying a gift; they care whether they like it or not.

"If you give me a gift, I don't necessarily think about the amount of time you spent getting the gift. I think about the gift," said Epley.

The scientists admit that their somewhat unromantic analysis does not address the pleasure of giving. "What is lost in this is that, in a gift exchange, it's not just the gift receiver who benefits; the gift giver gets a lot of pleasure," concedes Epley.

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#2 Growled

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:13

The Grinch says it better than me:


That's what it's all about, isn't it? That's what it's always been *about*. Gifts, gifts... gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts, gifts. You wanna know what happens to your gifts? They all come to me. In your garbage. You see what I'm saying? In your *garbage*. I could hang myself with all the bad Christmas neckties I found at the dump. And the avarice...

The avarice never ends! "I want golf clubs. I want diamonds. I want a pony so I can ride it twice, get bored and sell it to make glue." Look, I don't wanna make waves, but this *whole* Christmas season is...

...stupid, stupid, stupid!



#3 Crisp

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:19

I guess that makes baby Jesus a greedy little sh*t, with his three presents an all.