How to use science to give good gifts

Gift givers overlook how easily or often the gift will be used. PHOTO: AFP

(NYTIMES) - On Christmas morning, a husband quietly apologises to his wife that his gifts this year are humble - money is tight. She bravely affirms that she loves the pyjamas and sweater. Later, as the children play with their new toys, the husband reveals one last gift box, in which the wife discovers a diamond necklace. She squeals with astonished delight.

This advertising trope is not just cloying. It also feeds five false beliefs people commonly hold about what makes gift recipients happy.

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