Note to Self: Say Thanks

by F.

If someone gives you a gift, say thanks, even if you don’t mean it. According to the BPS Research Digest blog, C.A. Roster of the University of New Mexico

interviewed 186 people who were able to recall a recent occasion when they gave someone a present that they clearly didn’t like. From frowns and false smiles, to never seeing the gift again, Roster identified several means by which participants recognised their gift had been unsuccessful.

But of these indicators, a failure to say thank you was the only one that was reliably associated with how detrimental participants said the incident would be to the future of their relationship. Moreover, in an open-ended part of the interview, when participants were asked how the ungrateful friend or relative could have made things better, over half said expressing thanks would have done the trick, even if it clearly wasn’t genuine.

Cite: Roster, C.A. (2006). Moments of truth in gift exchanges: A critical analysis of communication indicators used to detect gift failure. Psychology and marketing, 23, 885-903

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