What Is The Psychology Behind the Purchase & Exchange of Gifts?

Giving money rather than a purchased gift would be perceived as a form of neglect for the relationship, even if it would be an efficient and rational choice on an economic level.

Even the same choice of receiver, when stressed rarely falls on cash just to avoid appearing materialistic. This further confirms that the nature of the exchange of gifts is predominantly psychological.


What psychological dynamics are the basics of gifts?

There are several psychological researches that over the years have tried to outline the psychological mechanisms behind the purchase and exchange of gifts:

In order to live happy parties, it is essential to focus not on material aspects, consumption, gifts, but on intangible aspects. family, affective, relational, religious. It seems that men are happier than women, as well as older people:

  • The festivities of Christmas seems to generate greater prosperity in Catholics, than in people of other cultures or philosophies that can be impacted.



  • When you receive an unwelcome gift from a loved one the relationship suffers because it is expected to be known and understood by the most intimate people. The women in this way have much expectation of being paid to perfection in their expectations, the men instead speak very openly about their possible dissent.
  • Giving money instead of a material gift risks overcoming social inequalities and as such creates discomfort in the recipient. The only exceptions are children, never adults.
  • The gifts that seem to want to avoid the risk of error, the classics, the flowers, the chocolates tend to be perceived in a negative way as unlikely to be remembered as meaningful and derivatives that make them.
  • The last-minute gifts seem not so popular, because they fail to convey the idea of grand gift even if it is a long prom dresses under 100.
  • To impress someone positively, specifically, one should offer something that the person himself did not think. For example, in this case, he discovered that if you offer a gift card to use anywhere, the recipient might tend to buy goods he needs, rendering it ordinary, unassigned, and without guilt for who is spending the card. If, however, you opt for a gift card for a specific place or activity or service, as in the case of a spa that the recipient might not allow, it helps to make the whole gift experience a memorable one
  • In the case of a couple, offering very expensive gifts at the beginning of a relationship may raise expectations in those who give and any subsequent smaller gifts may raise doubts about the relationship itself.

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  • The parties, and even Christmas, are focused on giving rather than on receiving. Spending money for others is the real form of happiness, more than spending for oneself.
  • Beware of the decorations that appear: if they are abundant, glossy, they seem to indicate an open, sociable temperate, prone to new knowledge. The risk, if surpassed, is to be addicted as too eccentric and as such to avoid.
  • The Peculiarities of Holiday Days: There are not only sounds, colors but also odors that help create the overall scenario of those days and favor the process of buying and exchanging gifts.
  • Listening to the typical songs of the festivities cause the hallucinations and fantasies typical of such periods and to act, including purchases.
  • There is a real “Christmas spirit” that seems to be characterized by happiness, tendency of joy, rituals, shopping, a bit of discomfort.