Traditionally, people think the perfect gift is the one you’ve spent months thinking about and searching for, or the one you spent a month’s salary on, but new research shows that gift recipients are just as happy, if not more, with less expensive gifts, or the ones they picked out themselves.

According to organizational psychologist Francis Flynn, “Our research shows that while gift-givers think they’re being more thoughtful by picking out expensive gifts, the recipients don’t appreciate the hefty price tag.” The Stanford University researcher also indicated that the price tag of the gift mattered more to the giver than the receiver and that people enjoyed a surprise gift less than cash or something they picked themselves through a gift registry.

Sociologists agree that the social activity of gift-giving is an experience in which the feelings of both the giver and receiver must be considered, though. What this research shows is that, if you love shopping for just the right gift, keep on shopping, but, if shopping is a nightmare for you and you never seem to get it right, it’s Ok to choose from a registry or just give cash. Many times, the recipient will enjoy that gift even more.

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