Choosing a gift for someone can be tricky, especially when it comes to the decision about whether to choose something tailored to their interests or go for something more sentimental; however, researchers have concluded that the right choice is often the one that is overlooked.
Choosing your gift
According to a study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers, gifts that hold a sentimental value are often discounted due to the fear that the recipient will not like them. This leads to gift givers playing it safe and choosing superficial gifts that are more suited to the recipient’s interests.
It was found that those buying felt that personal presents would either be loved or hated and would therefore be a risky choice, whereas gifts relating to an interest were a safer option; however, according to the study, recipients were more likely to prefer a gift with sentimental value. Even teachers, who often receive expensive end of term gifts, admit to preferring more sentimental gifts.
Weighing up the options
In the experiment, participants were asked to choose gifts for a friend or loved one. Friends were given the option of a framed photo of the recipient’s favourite musician or a framed photo of themselves with their friend. Similarly, the loved ones were asked to choose between a gift card or an engraved framed photo of the couple. In both cases, it was found that the recipients would have preferred the more sentimental options over the more practical.
The participants were also split in two, with one group asked to think about a time when taking a risk paid off and the other to imagine a negative experience. It was found that those with positive experiences were more likely to gift a sentimental present than those with negative risk-taking experiences.
Stuck for ideas
If you are still unsure which direction to take with your gift buying, you could go for something that incorporates an interest with a personal touch. Busy coffee lovers might like a personalised travel mug, or personalised lap trays from a supplier such as https://personalisedlaptrays.co.uk might be a good option for those who like crafts, jigsaws, or just need a place to rest their laptop.
Next time you are trying to think of a great gift, the chances are that going with your gut and picking a sentimental gift will pay off.