Entries in holidays (16)

Friday
Dec192014

This Holiday Season, Get Your Romantic Partner Exactly What He or She Wants

As the gift giving swings into full gear, the pressure is on to find that perfect gift for your significant other. But what sort of present will best communicate your affections? Should you scour the mall (or internet) in search of new gift-giving inspiration? Or should you “stick to the list”, and just give your partner what he or she wished for?

In a study on gift-giving, participants imagined1 either that they were trying to find a present for their romantic partners or that their partners were trying to find a present for them. When participants took the role of the “gift giver”, many believed that they should try to find a gift that was not on their partner’s wish list.  By ignoring the list and finding an alternate present, participants seemed to believe the rogue gift would communicate thoughtfulness and effort. But when participants took the role of the “gift receiver” they were actually more appreciative, and saw their partners as being more thoughtful, when their partners gave them a gift from their wish list rather than an alternative present.  The researchers also found similar effects for non-romantic relationships (e.g., friendships, parents): regardless of how close the gift recipient felt to the gift giver, wished-for gifts were always preferred. This effect held even when there was only one item on the wish list. So it would seem that surprises are over-rated!

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Wednesday
Dec172014

All I Want for Christmas is You: The Science of Gift Giving

Each year around mid-November, business owners begin to lick their chops: the next month will arguably be their busiest and most profitable. Last year, for example, Americans spent over $52 billion during the Thanksgiving weekend alone.1 Although large portions of these purchases are surely self-indulging, people also make a lot of purchases to take care of gift shopping for the upcoming holiday season.

Gift giving seems to be a biologically natural phenomenon across a range of species and targets – even organisms as simple as insects feel the need to get in on the giving. Male crickets, for example, gift their sexual partners with a nutritious treat to prevent them from prematurely consuming their sperm ampulla—essentially a big bag of sperm—after mating.2 Insect gift giving extends beyond sexual partners as well: burying beetles provide their young larvae with a tasty carcass to feed on and live in.3

Similarly, humans often provide their loved ones—children, mates, or otherwise—with an assortment of presents. Thankfully, these gifts tend to be less disgusting than those given by our insect counterparts. Although you may look forward to exchanging gifts with your loved ones this time of year, it’s worth asking: is gift giving good for relationships, or is it possible for gift giving to somehow harm close relationships?

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Wednesday
Dec172014

‘Tis the Season: 5 Principles For Spending Your Money Wisely During Holiday Gift Shopping

The holiday season is full of things that will test your relationship, like navigating office holiday parties, having to be friendly with the in-laws, managing your credit card balance, and dealing with kids’ unreasonable demands. Any of these can put stress on your relationship, but perhaps the biggest relationship challenge is picking the right gift for your partner. As we’ve discussed before, there is a science to gift-giving, but fundamentally, as the giver, you must decide on the best way to spend your money. When your partner unwraps your present (or, for the gift-wrapping challenged like me, simply lifts it out of a bag), how can you assure you’re getting your money’s worth?

Data from a large-scale national survey shows that we generally overestimate money’s effect on most people’s life satisfaction and happiness.1 Given that money doesn't buy happiness to the extent that most people believe, what should you spend your hard-earned-cash on this holiday season when buying a gift for your partner? A team of researchers reviewed previous studies on this topic to determine how to spend money to maximize happiness.2 Several of their principles provide insight into the best gifts to buy this holiday season.

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Tuesday
Dec172013

‘Tis the Season: 5 Principles For Spending Your Money Wisely During Holiday Gift Shopping

The holiday season is full of things that will test your relationship, like navigating office holiday parties, having to be friendly with the in-laws, managing your credit card balance, and dealing with kids’ unreasonable demands. Any of these can put stress on your relationship, but perhaps the biggest relationship challenge is picking the right gift for your partner. As we’ve discussed before, there is a science to gift-giving, but fundamentally, as the giver, you must decide on the best way to spend your money. When your partner unwraps your present (or, for the gift-wrapping challenged like me, simply lifts it out of a bag), how can you assure you’re getting your money’s worth?

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Sunday
Dec162012

Mistletoe...For The Sake Of Science

It's nice to see that these researchers are assessing both self-reports and real behaviors.

Friday
Dec142012

All I Want for Christmas is You: The Science of Gift Giving

Each year around mid-November, business owners begin to lick their chops: the next month will arguably be their busiest and most profitable. Last year, for example, Americans spent over $52 billion during the Thanksgiving weekend alone.1 Although large portions of these purchases are surely self-indulging, people also make a lot of purchases to take care of gift shopping for the upcoming holiday season.

Gift giving seems to be a biologically natural phenomenon across a range of species and targets – even organisms as simple as insects feel the need to get in on the giving.

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Friday
Dec142012

The Lover’s Guide to Surviving Holiday Gift-Giving

It’s that time of the year again - streets coloured with festive decorations, malls ringing with well-known holiday music, and shops filled with people wandering aimlessly in search of the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I, for one, struggle every year to find that special present that will give my boyfriend a big smile under the holiday lights. I’m sure I’m not the only one who suffers from this pre-holiday shopping stress. To add to my stress, research confirms what we probably all know already: gift-giving has a significant impact on romantic relationships.

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Tuesday
Feb142012

Valentine's Day Recap

Monday
Feb132012

Warning! Valentine’s Day May Be Hazardous for Your Relationship’s Health

Valentine’s Day typically serves as a time to show appreciation for that special someone in our lives or as an opportunity to take a relationship to the next level. It’s a time to celebrate love in all of its forms. But can it be a dangerous time for the health of your relationship? 

Holidays can be stressful, but your relationship probably made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Festivus, and New Year’s in one piece. Congratulations! Valentine’s Day should be a piece of cake, right? Not so fast…

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Sunday
Jan012012

Can a Kiss Predict the Future?

According to the superstition, the person you kissed at midnight on New Year’s Eve is the one you’ll share your love and affection with in the upcoming year. An NYE kiss allegedly brings good luck for the future of your relationship with the person on the other end of your lips…but can a kiss really predict the future?

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Wednesday
Dec212011

This Holiday Season, Get Your Romantic Partner Exactly What He or She Wants

As the gift giving swings into full gear, the pressure is on to find that perfect gift for your significant other. But what sort of present will best communicate your affections? Should you scour the mall (or internet) in search of new gift-giving inspiration? Or should you “stick to the list”, and just give your partner what he or she wished for?

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec202011

Want to Get Lucky on Your Holiday Date? Skip the Mistletoe and Wear Red Instead

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, everyone knows that red is one of the colors associated with this holiday. It’s the color of Santa’s suit, Rudolph’s nose, and those tacky woolen sweaters you inevitably see at the office holiday party. However, recent research suggests that red gets us “in the mood” for more than just eggnog and gift-giving—it also increases how attractive and sexually desirable we find other people.

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Monday
Dec192011

Erotic Photos: A Holiday Gift Both You and Your Partner will Appreciate?

Looking for the perfect Holiday gift for a romantic partner or lover? Our research suggests that having an erotic photo taken could turn out to be a great gift for both you and your partner!

In recent years, a growing number of women (and some men and couples too!) have been visiting professional photographers to have sexy photos taken. Recently, myself and my colleagues conducted two studies about erotic photography and learned that there is more to this experience than meets the eye.

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Thursday
Nov242011

Thanksgiving and Relationships Go Together Like Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Monday
Oct102011

The “Turkey Dump”: Fact or Fiction?

It is the day after Thanksgiving weekend and thousands of undergrads are emerging from a turkey-induced slumber, packing up their leftover turkey sandwiches, and heading back to their dorm rooms newly single. Yep, you got it, they’ve been Turkey Dumped – or at least this is what contemporary dorm room legend implies.

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Sunday
May082011

Mother's Day = Breakfast in Bed

Happy Mother's Day, Science of Relationships style.

From thedoghousediaries.com.