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The Psychology Of Gifting | Infographic

Every Christmas, birthday, anniversary and special occasion, we carefully choose and offer gifts to our loved ones. It’s something we do naturally and most of us don’t think about its deeper implications. Yet, the gift we choose and how we present it says so much about us, our relationships, and the complex social structures within our community. Behind every perfect present lie social, psychological and emotional currents.

We were forwarded this interesting gifting infographic from Activity Superstore and thought we'd share it. It runs through a the important gifts given throughout history as well as tips on giving the perfect gift today.

Buying gifts can fun but also quite stressful so every little helps right? Have a look below and maybe you'll find some inspiration.

Important gifts throughout history

Types of gifts

Selecting the perfect gift can seem like an impossible challenge sometimes. Research from the University of California examined the motivations and symbolism behind the gifts we give and proposed that there are four main types of gifts:

  • Gifts that are symbolic of the self and of the giver
  • Gifts that are symbolic of the giver’s knowledge of the receiver
  • Gifts that are symbolic of the occasion
  • Gifts that are expressive and contain an array of significant meanings

In the paper Motivations and Symbolism in Gift-Giving Behavior, Mary Finley Wolfinbarger argues that the favourite gifts often fall into the second category and are gifts that the receiver wants but wouldn’t have bought themselves. Least favourite gifts were too symbolic of the giver and had little to do with the receiver. However, Wolfinbarger argues that most gifts are actually a compromise between what the receiver would like and what the giver would like the receiver to have.

Selecting the right gift

Most popular gifts and gift ideas

So, what types of gifts are popular in today’s society? Research shows that 63% of Brits buy entertainment related gifts like CDs or DVDs, while 57% buy clothing and 47% buy food and drink-related gifts. Other common gift ideas include gift cards, personalised gifts and experiences.

Recent research from the University of Toronto Scarborough reveals that giving an experience strengthens your relationship with the receiver more than a physical gift. This is primarily due to the fact that experience gifts elicit stronger emotional responses while they are being enjoyed. For example, speeding around a go kart track releases adrenaline while massages provide relaxation. Nonetheless, when selecting an experience it’s still important to consider the recipient to make sure you choose something that’s appropriate, which they will look forward to.

Now that you're caught up with all things gifting, why not take a look at our huge selection of gift ideas here.

Time for more? Designer of the Month : Jean Prouvé | Utility Follows : Nicola Capper | Jens Fager's Tip Lamp wins Design Award

Original source : Activity Superstore

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