Ekonomisti so resnično zmešani. Makroekonomisti zaradi svojih razlogov (ideologije), mikroekonomisti pa zaradi odpiranja tem glede obnašanja posameznikov, ki so morda bogokletna in jih ne bi smeli odpirati. Eno izmed njih je optimalnost božičnih daril. V sosednjem članku je Črt opozoril na študijo Joela Waldfogela izpred 21 let, ki je ugotovil, da Američani za Božič stran vržejo med 4 in 13 milijard dolarjev zaradi napačno izbranih daril.
Tim Harford pa opozarja na štiri študije Gabrielle Adams, Francisa Flynna in Francesce Gino. Ti ugotavljajo, da obdarovanci ne maramo presenečenj. Raje imamo darilo z naše liste želja. Še več, če je darilo z naše liste želja, smo mnenja, da so bila darila “bolj osebna” in “premišljena“. To pomeni, da nima smisla tratiti energije z ugibanjem, katero darilo bi obdarovanca razveselilo, ampak ga je bolje kar vprašati. Kajti našega ugibanja, ki bo rezultiralo v “napačnem” darilu, torej tistemu, ki ni na njegovi osebni listi želja, sploh ne bo znal ceniti. Samo ena vrsta darila je, ki obdarovanca še bolj razveseli kot darilo z njegove liste želja: to je denar.
Gino and Flynn surveyed married people, asking some to reflect on wedding gifts they had received, and others to think about wedding gifts they had given. Gift givers assumed that gifts chosen spontaneously would be just as welcome as those chosen from a wedding registry. Recipients felt otherwise: they preferred the gifts that had been on the wedding list. Such lists seem charmless but they work.
Gino and Flynn found similar results from a survey about birthday presents: again, givers thought that gifts they’d chosen themselves were more appreciated but recipients preferred the gifts that they’d specifically asked for. The lesson: you might feel that it’s awkward and unnecessary to ask what gift would be welcome but the recipient of the gift sees things differently and would prefer that you asked rather than guessed.
Gino and Flynn conducted a third study in which people created wish lists. Other participants were asked to choose an item on the list to be sent as a gift; a third group were asked to peruse the wish list but then to choose some other present of equivalent value. It’s not surprising to discover that recipients preferred the items from their wish list — but what’s remarkable is that they felt the wishlist gifts were more “personal” and “thoughtful”. We think that picking an item from a wish list is lazy and impersonal but the person receiving that item doesn’t see it that way at all.
For good measure, a fourth study by Gino and Flynn found there was one thing people appreciated even more than an item from their own wish lists: money.
There’s more. Adams and Flynn surveyed newly engaged couples about engagement rings. The givers assumed that more expensive rings were more appreciated. The recipients felt differently. A similar result came from asking people to think about a particular birthday present they had received or given: recipients were just as happy with inexpensive gifts, to the surprise of givers.
In short, there is a vast discrepancy between how we see the world when giving gifts and when receiving them. The gift giver imagines that the ideal present is expensive and surprising; the recipient doesn’t care about the money and would rather have a present they’d already selected. We should spend less than we think, and we should ask more questions before we buy.
Preberite več v Tim Harford, You really, really, shouldn’t have . . .