This is Episode Four of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this festive episode we explore whether psychology can help us with gift giving.
Our presenter Christian Jarrett and his guests discuss the benefits of giving "giver-centric" gifts; how recipients like to receive gifts on their wish lists; why ethical or pro-social gifts are sometimes not so warmly received; and the two words that can salvage that awkward situation when a gift doesn't go down too well.
Our guests in order of appearance are Lisa Cavanaugh USC Marshall School of Business, Lara Aknin of Simon Fraser University, and Alex Fradera, contributing writer to the BPS Research Digest blog.
The studies discussed in this episode, in order of appearance, are:
Give a piece of you: Gifts that reflect givers promote closeness
Give them what they want: The benefits of explicitness in gift exchange
When doing good is bad in gift giving: Mis-predicting appreciation of socially responsible gifts
Moments of truth in gift exchanges: A critical analysis of communication indicators used to detect gift failure
Episode credits: Presenter/editor/producer Dr Christian Jarrett. Vox pops Ella Rhodes. Music and mixing Dr Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Jingle Bells vocals Joe Loveday. Art work Tim Grimshaw.