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The Psychology Of Gift Giving - HER Week In Health

By EmpowHER
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More Videos from EmpowHER 30 videos in this series

Christmas is drawing nearer and if you’re anything like me, you’ve still got plenty of last-minute shopping to do. In this week’s edition we’ll learn why less may be more in terms of gift giving. We’ll also learn how to make your toddlers truly enjoy their vegetables and it turns out the happiest mothers aren’t the stay-at-home type. Have a look.

Marketing and psychology researchers at the University of Michigan found that bundling together an expensive "big" gift and a smaller "stocking stuffer" reduces the overall perceived value for the recipient.

In what researchers have coined as the “Presenter’s Paradox,” gift givers and gift recipients have different perspectives. Gift givers follow a "more-is-better" logic; recipients average the overall gift package and feel the entity is diluted if a large gift is coupled with a smaller gift.

Researchers say a simple litmus test is to put yourself in the recipients’ shoes and consider what the average value of multiple gifts would be. Good news for your pocketbook to know more isn’t necessarily always better.

In a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found giving children a small reward – even something so small as a sticker – for simply trying new vegetables, increased the likelihood they would accept the vegetables more favorably.

Researchers found verbal praise wasn’t enough, but that 3- and 4-year olds who were given stickers each time they took a tiny taste of a vegetable they previously said they didn’t like, gradually began to rate the vegetable as more pleasing.

Researchers say parents may want to give the sticker giving thing a try and that some studies found 10 days was all it took for children to begin to eat more of the previously disliked vegetable.

In a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology, researchers analyzed 1,300 mothers in the United States and found that mothers who worked either full-time or part-time reported better overall health and fewer symptoms of depression than stay-at-home moms.

Mothers with part-time jobs were found to balance work and nurturing their children better than those with full-time jobs, and were just as involved in their children’s lives as the stay-at-home moms.

Researchers believe these findings to be encouraging – especially with the current job market – but say employers should be cognizant of this balance and even encourage people to work part-time, yet find some way to provide benefits.

That wraps up your EmpowHER HER Week in Health. Join me here at EmpowHER.com every Friday for the latest in women’s health.

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