Give a piece of you: Gifts that reflect givers promote closeness

Published on Sep 1, 2015in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
· DOI :10.1016/J.JESP.2015.04.006
Lara B. Aknin18
Estimated H-index: 18
(SFU: Simon Fraser University),
Lauren J. Human16
Estimated H-index: 16
(UCSF: University of California, San Francisco)
Abstract Gift giving is an ancient, ubiquitous and familiar behavior often thought to build and foster social connections, but what types of gifts are most effective in increasing closeness between the giver and the recipient? In six studies we explore both the perceptions and relational outcomes of gifts that reflect the giver ( giver-centric gifts ) and gifts that reflect the recipient ( recipient-centric gifts ). Across studies, we find a strong and consistent preference for giving and receiving recipient-centric gifts. Surprisingly, however, in the gift-giving contexts examined in these studies, both givers and receivers report greater feelings of closeness to their gift partner when the gift reflects the giver.
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
59 Citations
561 Citations
38 Citations
#1Elizabeth W. Dunn (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 37
#2Lara B. Aknin (SFU: Simon Fraser University)H-Index: 18
Last. Michael I. Norton (Harvard University)H-Index: 49
view all 3 authors...
Although a great deal of research has shown that people with more money are somewhat happier than are people with less money, our research demonstrates that how people spend their money also matters for their happiness. In particular, both correlational and experimental studies have shown that people who spend money on others report more happiness. The benefits of such prosocial spending emerge among adults around the world, and the warm glow of giving can be detected even in toddlers. These ben...
137 CitationsSource
#1Lauren J. Human (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 16
#2Gillian M. Sandstrom (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 15
Last. Elizabeth W. Dunn (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 37
view all 4 authors...
Above and beyond the benefits of biases such as positivity and assumed similarity, does the accuracy of our first impressions have immediate and long-term effects on relationship development? Assessing accuracy as distinctive self-other agreement, we found that more accurate personality impressions of new classmates were marginally associated with greater liking concurrently, and significantly predicted greater interaction throughout the semester and greater liking and interest in future interac...
53 CitationsSource
#1Yan Zhang (NUS: National University of Singapore)H-Index: 8
#2Nicholas Epley (U of C: University of Chicago)H-Index: 46
Gift-giving involves both the objective value of a gift and the symbolic meaning of the exchange. The objective value is sometimes considered of secondary importance as when people claim, “It’s the thought that counts.” We evaluated when and how mental state inferences count in gift exchanges. Because considering another’s thoughts requires motivation and deliberation, we predicted gift givers’ thoughts would increase receivers’ appreciation only when triggered to consider a giver’s thoughts, su...
42 CitationsSource
Humans devote 30–40% of speech output solely to informing others of their own subjective experiences. What drives this propensity for disclosure? Here, we test recent theories that individuals place high subjective value on opportunities to communicate their thoughts and feelings to others and that doing so engages neural and cognitive mechanisms associated with reward. Five studies provided support for this hypothesis. Self-disclosure was strongly associated with increased activation in brain r...
276 CitationsSource
#1Sandra D. Lackenbauer (UWO: University of Western Ontario)H-Index: 5
#2Lorne Campbell (UWO: University of Western Ontario)H-Index: 28
Last. Talia Troister (Queen's University)H-Index: 9
view all 5 authors...
An experiment investigated the independent and combined effects of receiving feedback from romantic partners that varied in both accuracy (i.e., profile agreement) and positive bias, as compared with one’s self-perceptions. Both members of 55 romantically involved couples were randomly assigned to receive either high or low levels of accurate or positively biased feedback ostensibly created from a comparison between their self-ratings and their partner’s appraisals. After receiving this feedback...
26 CitationsSource
#1Simine Vazire (WashU: Washington University in St. Louis)H-Index: 35
This article tests a new model for predicting which aspects of personality are best judged by the self and which are best judged by others. Previous research suggests an asymmetry in the accuracy of personality judgments: Some aspects of personality are known better to the self than others and vice versa. According to the self– other knowledge asymmetry (SOKA) model presented here, the self should be more accurate than others for traits low in observability (e.g., neuroticism), whereas others sh...
805 CitationsSource
#1Shanhong Luo (UNCW: University of North Carolina at Wilmington)H-Index: 11
#2Anthony Snider (UNCW: University of North Carolina at Wilmington)H-Index: 5
There has been a long-standing debate about whether having accurate self-perceptions or holding positive illusions of self is more adaptive. This debate has recently expanded to consider the role of accuracy and bias of partner perceptions in romantic relationships. In the present study, we hypothesized that because accuracy, positivity bias, and similarity bias are likely to serve distinct functions in relationships, they should all make independent contributions to the prediction of marital sa...
88 CitationsSource
#1Simine Vazire (WashU: Washington University in St. Louis)H-Index: 35
#2Matthias R. Mehl (UA: University of Arizona)H-Index: 38
Many people assume that they know themselves better than anyone else knows them. Recent research on inaccuracies in self-perception, however, suggests that self-knowledge may be more limited than people typically assume. In this article, the authors examine the possibility that people may know a person as well as (or better than) that person knows himself or herself. In Study 1, the authors document the strength of laypeople's beliefs that the self is the best expert. In Study 2, the authors pro...
422 CitationsSource
#1Elizabeth W. Dunn (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 37
Last. Stacey SinclairH-Index: 23
view all 4 authors...
We tested the hypothesis that gifts act as markers of interpersonal similarity for both acquaintances and close relationship partners. Participants were led to believe that a new opposite sex acquaintance (Experiment 1) or romantic partner (Experiment 2) had selected either a desirable or undesirable gift for them. In Experiment 1, men viewed themselves as less similar to their new acquaintance after receiving a bad versus good gift from her, whereas women's perceived similarity ratings were una...
19 CitationsSource
#1Elizabeth W. Dunn (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 37
#2Lara B. Aknin (UBC: University of British Columbia)H-Index: 18
Last. Michael I. Norton (Harvard University)H-Index: 49
view all 3 authors...
Although much research has examined the effect of income on happiness, we suggest that how people spend their money may be at least as important as how much money they earn. Specifically, we hypothesized that spending money on other people may have a more positive impact on happiness than spending money on oneself. Providing converging evidence for this hypothesis, we found that spending more of one's income on others predicted greater happiness both cross-sectionally (in a nationally representa...
1,641 CitationsSource
Cited By21
#1Sydney Chinchanachokchai (University of Akron)H-Index: 4
#2Theeranuch Pusaksrikit (Chula: Chulalongkorn University)H-Index: 3
Abstract For romantic couples, posting romantic gift pictures on social network sites has become a tool for public declarations of love. This research investigates how self-construal influences recipients’ romantic gift-posting behavior across three popular social network sites (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) at the country and individual levels. In the first two of three studies, we demonstrate that interdependent self-construal participants are more likely to post romantic gift pictures on ...
#1Julian Givi (WVU: West Virginia University)H-Index: 4
#2Jeff Galak (CMU: Carnegie Mellon University)H-Index: 19
#1Anika Schumacher (Grenoble School of Management)
#2Caroline Goukens (UM: Maastricht University)H-Index: 6
Last. Kelly Geyskens (UM: Maastricht University)H-Index: 8
view all 3 authors...
#1Qiulai SuH-Index: 2
#2Fei Zhou (Huaqiao University)H-Index: 3
Last. Yenchun Jim WuH-Index: 28
view all 3 authors...
As the use of live-stream marketing by corporations to sell products is increasing, the sustainability of this marketing model has been a controversial topic in recent years. In this study, we propose that live-stream marketing can be used as a sustainable strategy to improve the relationship between customers and the companies endorsed by broadcasters. Based on signal theory and the framework of “affordance--psychological outcome--consumer behavior”, this study answers the question from the per...
3 CitationsSource
#1William Ding (WSU: Washington State University)H-Index: 1
#2Mario Pandelaere (UGent: Ghent University)H-Index: 25
Last. David E. Sprott (UW: University of Wyoming)H-Index: 2
view all 4 authors...
Abstract While research suggests that conspicuously displaying luxury goods can help men signal desirable qualities such as high earning capacity and social status, little is known about how women evaluate and interpret luxury items given as romantic gifts by men. The current research explores this under-researched question and reveals that women do not always react favorably to luxury gifts. Instead, women are wary that accepting luxury gifts may lead to relationship power imbalance, which prom...
1 CitationsSource
#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
#1Rajani Ganesh Pillai (NDSU: North Dakota State University)H-Index: 3
#2Sukumarakurup Krishnakumar (Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences)H-Index: 8
Abstract Gift giving is a complex emotional process that is important in maintaining relationships. However, little is understood about the effects of individual differences in consumers' ability to understand the emotions of the receiver and even themselves in the gift-giving process. A series of three studies reveal that emotional understanding (EU) influences how much money consumers spend on gifts. Study 1 shows that consumers with higher EU are likely to spend more money on buying gifts for...
3 CitationsSource
May 2, 2019 in CHI (Human Factors in Computing Systems)
#1Jocelyn Spence (University of Nottingham)H-Index: 6
This paper takes on one of the rarely articulated yet important questions pertaining to digital media objects: how do HCI and design researchers understand 'gifting' when the object can just as easily be 'shared'? This question has often been implied and occasionally answered, though only partially. We propose the concept of 'inalienability', taken from the gifting literature, as a useful theory for clarifying what design researchers mean by gifting in a digital context. We apply 'inalienability...
1 CitationsSource
#1SoYon Rim (WPUNJ: William Paterson University)H-Index: 8
#2Kate E. Min (Cornell University)H-Index: 4
Last. Yaacov Trope (NYU: New York University)H-Index: 71
view all 5 authors...
Gift-giving is a common form of social exchange but little research has examined how different gift types affect the psychological distance between giver and recipient. We examined how two types of...
5 CitationsSource
#1Sumit Sarkar (XLRI- Xavier School of Management)H-Index: 4
#2Arundhati Sarkar Bose (XLRI- Xavier School of Management)H-Index: 2
Purpose This paper aims to investigate the impact of gift-givers’ perception of relational closeness on their gift-selection attitude and eventual selection when the gift is not a requested-gift. Design/methodology/approach A conceptual framework was constructed on the basis of five hypotheses, which were tested by field data collected through surveys of urban Indian gift-givers while they shopped for a gift. Logistic regressions were used for validating hypotheses. Mediation effect was computed...
2 CitationsSource