GIVING TO MAXIMIZE A SOCIAL CONNECTION.

GIVING TO MAXIMIZE A SOCIAL CONNECTION. I have posted several times, including here, about the ideas of SCROOGENOMICS, a book by Joel Waldfogel which argues that “Christmas gifts should be in cash because the recipient knows what he wants better than the giver does.” The behavioral economist Dan Ariely—the author of PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL—had an article in the Wall Street Journal (December 17-18) which discusses how behavioral economics has a better understanding of gift giving than Scroogenomics provides. Ariely analyzes a motive for some giving that is not considered by Scroogenomics: maximizing a social connection. Behavioral economics advises that you avoid perishable gifts (say, flowers). Ariely recommends a gift that is used intermittently so that the recipient is reminded of you whenever it is used. He suggests an electric mixer.

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One Response to GIVING TO MAXIMIZE A SOCIAL CONNECTION.

  1. You shouldn’t give cash, because someone may find it impossible to spend money on himself/herself, even if it’s gift money. (There are people like this.) If you want to treat someone, treat them in a way that gives them no wiggle-room to deprive themselves.

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