Give them what they want: The benefits of explicitness in gift exchange

Published on Sep 1, 2011in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
· DOI :10.1016/J.JESP.2011.03.015
Francesca Gino57
Estimated H-index: 57
(Harvard University),
Francis J. Flynn24
Estimated H-index: 24
(Stanford University)
article i nfo Five studies show that gift recipients are more appreciative of gifts they explicitly request than those they do not. In contrast, gift givers assume that both solicited and unsolicited gifts will be equally appreciated. At the root of this dilemma is a difference of opinion about what purchasing an unsolicited gift signals: gift givers expect unsolicited gifts will be considered more thoughtful and considerate by their intended recipients than is actually the case (Studies 1-3). In our final two studies, we highlight two boundary conditions for this effect: identifying a specific gift and using money as a gift. When gift recipients request one specific gift, rather than providing a list of possible gifts, givers become more willing to purchase the requested gift (Study 4). Further, although givers believe that recipients do not appreciate receiving money as much as receiving a solicited gift, recipients feel the opposite about these two gift options (Study 5).
Figures & Tables
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
561 Citations
103 Citations
87 Citations
#1Francis J. Flynn (Stanford University)H-Index: 24
#2Gabrielle S. Adams (Stanford University)H-Index: 8
Abstract Across three studies, we identify an asymmetry between gift-givers’ and gift-recipients’ beliefs about the link between gift price and feelings of appreciation. Gift-givers expected a positive correlation between how much they spent on a gift and the extent to which gift-recipients would appreciate the gift because gift-givers assume that more expensive gifts convey a higher level of thoughtfulness. Gift-recipients, in contrast, reported no such association between gift price and their ...
103 CitationsSource
#1Francis J. Flynn (Columbia University)H-Index: 24
#2Vanessa K. B. Lake (Columbia University)H-Index: 1
A series of studies tested whether people underestimate the likelihood that others will comply with their direct requests for help. In the first 3 studies, people underestimated by as much as 50% the likelihood that others would agree to a direct request for help, across a range of requests occurring in both experimental and natural field settings. Studies 4 and 5 demonstrated that experimentally manipulating a person’s perspective (as help seeker or potential helper) could elicit this underesti...
198 CitationsSource
It's generally agreed that, for a certain a class of cases, a rational subject cannot be wrong in treating two elements of thought as co-referential. Even anti-individualists like Tyler Burge agree that empirical error is impossible in such cases. I argue that this immunity to empirical error is illusory and sketch a new anti-individualist approach to concepts that doesn't require such immunity.
55 CitationsSource
#1Adam M. Grant (UM: University of Michigan)H-Index: 50
#2Elizabeth M. Campbell (UM: University of Michigan)H-Index: 6
Last. Karen Lee (UM: University of Michigan)H-Index: 1
view all 6 authors...
We tested the hypothesis that employees are willing to maintain their motivation when their work is relationally designed to provide opportunities for respectful contact with the beneficiaries of their efforts. In Experiment 1, a longitudinal field experiment in a fundraising organization, callers in an intervention group briefly interacted with a beneficiary; callers in two control groups read a letter from the beneficiary and discussed it amongst themselves or had no exposure to him. One month...
503 CitationsSource
#1Jeffrey R. Edwards (UNC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)H-Index: 48
#2Lisa Schurer Lambert (J. Mack Robinson College of Business)H-Index: 11
Studies that combine moderation and mediation are prevalent in basic and applied psychology research. Typically, these studies are framed in terms of moderated mediation or mediated moderation, both of which involve similar analytical approaches. Unfortunately, these approaches have important shortcomings that conceal the nature of the moderated and the mediated effects under investigation. This article presents a general analytical framework for combining moderation and mediation that integrate...
3,482 CitationsSource
#1Nicholas Epley (Harvard University)H-Index: 46
#2Carey K. Morewedge (Harvard University)H-Index: 26
Last. Boaz Keysar (U of C: University of Chicago)H-Index: 42
view all 3 authors...
Children generally behave more egocentrically than adults when assessing another's perspective. We argue that this difference does not, however, indicate that adults process information less egocentrically than children, but rather that adults are better able to subsequently correct an initial egocentric interpretation. An experiment tracking participants' eye movements during a referential communication task indicated that children and adults were equally quick to interpret a spoken instruction...
561 CitationsSource
#1Nicholas Epley (Harvard University)H-Index: 46
#2Kenneth Savitsky (Williams College)H-Index: 19
Last. Thomas Gilovich (Cornell University)H-Index: 61
view all 3 authors...
When people commit an embarrassing blunder, they typically overestimate how harshly they will be judged by others. This tendency can seem to fly in the face of research on the correspondence bias, which has established that observers are, in fact, quite likely to draw harsh dispositional inferences about others. These seemingly inconsistent literatures are reconciled by showing that actors typically neglect to consider the extent to which observers will moderate their correspondent inferences wh...
78 CitationsSource
#1Kenneth Savitsky (Williams College)H-Index: 19
#2Nicholas EpleyH-Index: 46
Last. Thomas GilovichH-Index: 61
view all 3 authors...
When people suffer an embarrassing blunder, social mishap, or public failure, they often feel that their image has been severely tarnished in the eyes of others. Four studies demonstrate that these fears are commonly exaggerated. Actors who imagined committing one of several social blunders (Study 1), who experienced a public intellectual failure (Studies 2 and 3), or who were described in an embarrassing way (Study 4) anticipated being judged more harshly by others than they actually were. Thes...
135 CitationsSource
Partners in close relationships can be both accurate and biased in their perceptions of each other. Moreover, sometimes a bias can lead to accuracy. The authors describe a paradigm for the simultaneous measurement of accuracy and bias in 2-person relationships. One prevalent bias in close relationships is assumed similarity: Does the person think that his or her partner sees the world as he or she does? In a study of 238 dating and married heterosexual couples, the authors found evidence for bot...
482 CitationsSource
Cited By59
#1Peggy J. Liu (University of Pittsburgh)H-Index: 11
#2Ernest Baskin (""St. Joe's"": Saint Joseph's University)H-Index: 9
The trade-off between quality and quantity pervades many domains of life, including that of making product choices for ourselves and others, whether as gifts or as everyday favors. In five studies ...
2 CitationsSource
#1Yookyung Park (College of Business Administration)H-Index: 1
#2Youjae Yi (College of Business Administration)H-Index: 37
Abstract The main purpose of this research is to investigate whether, why, and when givers and recipients perceive the value of a discounted gift differently. The studies provide convergent evidence that givers perceive discounted gifts as less valuable than regular-priced gifts whereas recipients do not perceive them as different. Givers' devaluation of the discounted gift is driven by their concern about the thoughtfulness of a gift. Moreover, the giver-recipient asymmetry is mitigated when th...
#1Sisi Li (HKU: University of Hong Kong)H-Index: 1
#2Jacky C. K. Ng (Hong Kong Shue Yan University)H-Index: 5
Last. Chin Ming Hui (CUHK: The Chinese University of Hong Kong)H-Index: 12
view all 3 authors...
2 CitationsSource
#1Ines Branco-IllodoH-Index: 2
#2Teresa HeathH-Index: 5
Last. Caroline TynanH-Index: 16
view all 3 authors...
This paper aims to examine coping approaches used by receivers to deal with failed gift experiences, thereby dealing with misperceptions between givers and receivers that could affect their relationship.,This study uses a sequential, multimethod methodology using background questionnaires, online diary method and 27 semi-structured interviews.,Receivers cope with failed gift experiences through concealing, disclosing or re-evaluating the gift experience. These approaches encompass several coping...
1 CitationsSource
#1Jiamin Yin (NUS: National University of Singapore)
#2Yansu Wang (RUC: Renmin University of China)
Last. Kanliang Wang (RUC: Renmin University of China)
view all 4 authors...
Customers of mass customization websites measure the utility of the site by the uniqueness of the products they design, yet the factors influencing customizer perceptions of product uniqueness are underexplored. We examine the effect of the intended recipient (self vs. close others) in three studies involving real customization tasks. We show that creators (i.e., product customizers) perceive products designed for close others (vs. for themselves) to be more unique, with thoughtfulness in design...
#1Florian Schupp (JU: Jacobs University Bremen)H-Index: 4
The idea of this chapter is to identify and make use of findings in nature that have a specific relevance for purchasing and supply management. Most of the findings are observed or studied with wild animals such as in birds, wolves, fish, fireflies, bush crickets, chimpanzees, capuchin monkeys, and prairie voles. All of the research that I studied and cited is confirmed to fulfil ethical standards for the care of animals. Beyond learnings from animal behaviour, this chapter discusses characteris...
#1Biao Luo (USTC: University of Science and Technology of China)H-Index: 1
#2Wenpei Fang (USTC: University of Science and Technology of China)H-Index: 1
Last. Xue Fei Cong (USTC: University of Science and Technology of China)H-Index: 1
view all 4 authors...
Abstract This research explores the effect of gift–image congruence on the recipient's gift appreciation, and the moderating effects of intimacy and the recipient's relationship dependence in romantic relationships. The results show that gift-recipient image congruence has a positive effect on the recipient's gift appreciation, while the effect of gift-giver image congruence on gift appreciation is insignificant or even negative in Chinese and non-Chinese samples. For both Chinese and non-Chines...
2 CitationsSource