Why do we give gifts? Anthropologists tell us that this is an ancient ritual that dates back to our earliest history. Psychologists say that under the bows and colored paper is hidden a lot of meaning. Giving gifts is a relationship, a connection and an aspiration. And while getting a gift is definitely fun – especially if it achieves a goal – research shows that the giver gets more from it than the giver.
At this hour we talk about the psychology of gift-giving: why we do it, why we often make mistakes and what it really means.
But first, those who seek to consume less can still donate without buying something new. We’ll talk about the Buy Nothing project, a growing hyperlocal gift exchange in which neighbors give each other items such as an old bike, lawn mower, clothes or a rarely used waffle iron. This helps some save money, clear up, connect and consume less.
LISEL CLARKco-founder of The “Nothing to Buy” project.
KENNY COOPERsuburban reporter WHY
Mary SteffelAssociate Professor of Marketing, Northeastern University
Elanor WilliamsAssociate Professor of Marketing at Olin Business School at the University of Washington.
WHY, Buy. Nothing brings giving and receiving to another, more good-neighborly level – “What if you could immerse yourself in a community that offers generosity all year round without expecting anything in return?
New York Times. Should I give holiday gifts? – “Usually we evaluate quite well what we need and want”, but we do not evaluate very well what we need and want others. ”
BBC – Science gives good gifts – “It seems quite intuitive that if you spend more, you will get a better gift. It turns out there is no evidence that recipients are sensitive to the value of a gift when figuring out how much they like the gift. ”