If you've ever wanted to impress with a gift but been at a loss for what to buy, psychologists have the answer.
When aiming to buy a thoughtful gift for someone, you should try to reveal something about yourself rather than choose something for the recipient’s personality and interests.
This is because people value it when gift givers disclose something personal, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
In six separate experiments psychologists found people preferred both receiving and giving gifts that reflected the buyer's personal interest - and that this also promoted closeness.
In one of the experiments the researchers recruited over a hundred students to choose a song on iTunes to give to a friend, relative or romantic partner - and told them to select something that revealed a fact about them, or something they thought the person they were buying for would like.
When they contacted the recipients they discovered those who received a track revealing something of the giver felt closer to them - compared to those who received a track they assumed they would like.
In short if you want to make a connection, give something that reveals more about yourself.
The researchers said:
People may well be advised to offer more self-reflective gifts if building stronger social connections is the underlying goal.