What Kind of Giver Are You?

By Molly Lyons:

A study published this year in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that while gift recipients are happier with gifts they’ve explicitly asked for, givers think that gifts they’ve picked out on their own are seen as more considerate and better appreciated.

What’s more, research led by Mary Steffel, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Florida-Gainesville, suggests that shoppers who are selecting gifts for more than one close friend at a time tend to focus on how the recipients are different, rather than on what they’d like best.

“Ironically, this means the harder shoppers try to be thoughtful, the more likely they are to pass up gifts that would be better liked in favor of unique gifts,” Steffel says.

“Giving is almost more about the giver” than it is about the recipient, says Tina Lowrey, a professor of marketing at the University of Texas-San Antonio who has studied gift-giving behavior.

One way to select better presents is to be aware of what kind of giver you are, she says.

Here are some Giver Types:

The Procrastinator: Slacker? No, worried about making a mistake

The Planner: If you shop all year, make a list and check it twice

The Practical Giver: Practicality is a plus, but it may lack imagination

The Do-Gooder: Don’t forget to keep the recipient in mind

The Perfect Gift-Giver: Pleasers personify the joy of giving

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  • Ann

    Wow, that is enlightening. There is no doubt I fit into the “perfect gift-giver” category and it’s the reason I hate advent. All I do is worry about finding the perfect gift for everyone on my list. It ruins the entire season for me. I actually dread it all year and I try to get myself out of gift exchanges all together which tends to upset some people in my family (you can’t win).
    So the moral is: demand a list and then buy right off the list? I like it!

  • DRT

    Practical, but definitely not cheap.

  • DRT

    er…. hello?….hello?