Gift Giving

;News Release
Celebrating the season with less shopping
Research points to experiential gifts .
Research by Assistant Professor of Psychology Ryan Howell shows
that experiential purchases, such as a meal out or tickets to the theater,
are more likely to make people happy than material purchases. Howell suggests
that the reason for this relationship lies in the higher order needs that
experiences help satisfy, specifically the need for social connectedness
and vitality — a feeling of being alive. In addition, experiential purchases
are more likely to make other people happy too.While the study examined people who had purchased these items for themselves,
Howell suggests the findings can also be applied to purchasing gifts for
others. “Purchased experiences provide memory capital,” Howell
said. “You don’t get bored of happy memories like you do with a new
gadget or shirt.” Howell will present the study at the Society for Personality
and Social Psychologists annual meeting in February. >These photos are compliments of

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