WTFreud Scientific Guide to Gift Giving

By Brian Gendron, Ph.D.
Published December 14, 2015

“Worried about giving the perfect present for that special occasion? Fear not!” -Science

Based on highly vetted empirical evidence, here is what to give:

1. Conventional and conforming gifts.


According to one recent study, going all out with big gifts can actually make you un-cool in the eyes of others, due to what gets perceived as a “nonconforming” style. Do NOT go over the established gift exchange limit.

2. Relatively equal-sized gifts.

Plan wisely. Researchers have found that big gifts get valued less when combined with small gifts. Scientists suggest we ‘average’ a package of presents instead of mentally viewing each one separately.

3. Non-manipulative gifts.

Nice try, guy. In one study of the sexes, men were significantly more likely to report ulterior motives in their gift giving. What’s more, women were aware of this difference.

4. The same stuff you’d want.

People are more indulgent when buying for others compared to themselves, according to a 2010 study. Either way, I’m buying all my friends a hover board and hoping they don’t burst into flames.

5. A warm shoulder.

Due to its association with physical and mental health problems, loneliness has been found to be deadlier than obesity. Sometimes just being there for someone is the best gift of all.

6. Not cash.

If you don’t know what to give, or want to stay rather impersonal, go with a gift card instead of cash. One study found that recipients are more likely to indulge themselves with something “gifty” when using a card or certificate, compared to cash.

Either way, this constant flow of consumerism and materialism is only supporting a fascist empire slowly overtaking democracy through the likes of Donald Trump.

Happy holidays everyone. Stop killing each other.


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About the Author

has a Ph.D. in Psychology and enjoys writing in the third person.

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