Gift giving: What exactly are we giving and getting?

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Gifts are good. I love to give them. I like to get them.

Gifts allow people an opportunity to connect with others, demonstrating our appreciation and affection for them. Yet, that’s the problem. It’s always a struggle to come up with the perfect present for someone. Typically, I think that gift is received according to the investment the gift represents. For example, as a woman is evaluating a gift she just received, her judgments are influenced by her perception of how much the gift giver invested in gifts (i.e., how much did it cost the gift giver, effort to obtain, time spent making, etc.). This seems to assume that as most people are opening gifts, they may unconsciously consider the gift giver’s investment (e.g., $50, 2 hours, etc.) against their perceptions of their perceived ability to invest to the extent. This would suggest that a personal gift worth $100 might be interpreted as a more substantial investment of a gift giver who only had $100, relative to someone who had far more to spend.

Do you agree? Do you think gifts change value based on the amount of investment you perceive when into the gift?