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  • What would make a present more memorable?
  • What would make a present more memorable?
    Clem Onojeghuo (2016) ©
Science

For me? The science of sentimental gifting

A GameStop voucher may seem like an ideal gift for a gamer, but it’s not necessarily what they’d want to receive. Canvas8 spoke to Julian Givi, a doctoral candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, to learn why a fear of missing the mark means people shy away from giving something more meaningful.

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“From a standard economics perspective, gifts are a waste of money,” writes behavioural economist Dan Ariely, reflecting on the mismatch between what people want and what they actually get. “The point is that while gifts are financially inefficient, they're an important social lubricant. They help us make friends and create long-term relationships that can sustain us through the ups and downs of life.”

Despite their value in building interpersonal connections, numerous data points indicate that Americans aren’t the most sentimental gift-givers. Although 50% agree that it's the thought that matters most when receiving a gift, ...

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