According to a recent study, "It turns out it's not the thought that counts, it's the gift that counts," says Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago who co-authored the November study published in the journal Psychological Science.
The Wall Street Journal reports, "Some gift givers spend time and energy trying to find just the right gift. But thoughtful gifts don't necessarily lead to greater appreciation, according to a study published in November in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
The benefit of a thoughtful gift actually accrues mainly to the giver, who derives a feeling of closeness to the other person, the study found. People are more appreciative when they receive a gift they have explicitly requested, according to a similar study published last year in a separate publication called the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology"
WSJ went on to say, "Another study found spending more money on a gift doesn't necessarily translate into greater appreciation. That might come as a surprise to many gift givers, who often assume that a more expensive gift conveys a higher level of thoughtfulness..." and "The adage "It's the thought that counts" was largely debunked by the recent study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, which concluded that gift givers are better off choosing gifts that receivers actually desire rather than spending a lot of time and energy shopping for what they perceive to be a thoughtful gift.
The study found thoughtfulness doesn't increase a recipient's appreciation if the gift is a desirable one. In fact, thoughtfulness only seemed to count when a friend gives a gift that is disliked."
"The secret to being a good gift giver…is to give them what they want," says Dr. Epley, from the University of Chicago. Read more here.