We are days away from the largest shopping day of the year. People will flock to stores, battle the masses, and fill their carts with the latest and greatest everythings. And then they’ll head home, wrap those gift, and wait for the smiles that will surely come when happy recipients open said gifts on Christmas morning.
But a recent study at Cornell throws a wrench in all that. It doesn’t question whether gifts will initially make people happy, it focuses on what type of gift creates the most gratitude. The results? People are more grateful for experiences than material things.
“Think about how you feel when you come home from buying something new,” explains Thomas Gilovich, professor of psychology at Cornell University and co-author the new study. “You might say, ‘this new couch is cool,’ but you’re less likely to say ‘I’m so grateful for that set of shelves.’ But when you come home from a vacation, you are likely to say, ‘I feel so blessed I got to go.’ People say positive things about the stuff they bought, but they don’t usually express gratitude for it—or they don’t express it as often as they do for their experiences.”
Another reason for this increased gratitude may be because experiences trigger fewer social comparisons than material things. So, experiences are more likely to create a greater appreciation for the things you DO have!
I agree with this a thousand times over! Plus, I think when people are more grateful, they are more happy. So gifting experiences over things leads to a world full of happier people. And that sounds like a pretty good reason to buy someone concert tickets over the latest gadget!
Do you agree? Do you gift experiences instead of things? Would you prefer to receive experiences instead of things?
Talk to me,
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