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The psychology behind gift giving and receiving

Gift gifts present presents bow wrapping paper wrapped holiday

Photo by asenat29/Jonathan Lim Yong Hian via Flickr Creative Commons

We are one week away from Christmas, which means there are seven good shopping days left to get something for everyone on your list. 

But what's the psychology behind the gifts we choose for others? And how do marketing departments tailor their campaigns to our emotional connections to our loved ones?

RELATED: What's your approach when it comes to giving gifts to children?

Lisa Cavanaugh, assistant professor at USC's Marshall school of business and an expert in consumer psychology, joins the show with more. 

What was the worst gift you've ever received?

We've all been there — during a birthday celebration, around the Christmas tree, or at a white elephant party—when you're handed a shiny gift to unwrap only to find something you simply don't like.

Here at KPCC, we've gotten some pretty bad gifts over the years. Someone here in the newsroom said someone gave them an unwrapped roll of tape one year.

We reached out on Facebook and asked you to tell us the worst gift you've ever received, and you delivered.

LP Simmons said, "I GOT TWO BOOTS!! NOT A PAIR OF BOOTS!! TWO BOOTS.... SAME STYLE, DIFFERENT SIZES. ONE TOO LARGE AND ONE TOO SMALL."

Yvette Romero said the worst gift she had ever received is a "A gift card with $0 credit". That has to be an innocent mistake, right?

And Ashley McIntosh told us that when she was seven, her grandma gave her "Used socks, complete with rust stains."

No 7-year-old should have to open rusty socks on Christmas day. 

Check out the post below for the rest of our responses, and while you're at it, add your own!

 

 


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